EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) -In a match that featured back-and-forth action all evening, the University of Evansville volleyball team overcame deficits in each set to earn an impressive 3-0 sweep at Tennessee State on Tuesday evening.
Freshman Melanie Feliciano led the Aces (2-2) offense with 15 kills as four players finished with seven or more. Rachel Tam notched 13 while Patricia Joseph and Alondra Vazuqez posted seven apiece. In just three sets of work, Allana McInnis totaled 38 assists, an average of 12.7 per game. Gabriela Macedo posted 15 digs while Vazquez finished with nine and Tam added eight.
“I am very happy about how the team reacted against a very physical and athletic team,” UE coach Fernando Morales said after the win. “TSU is a team that makes great plays and our girls did a great job of being patient and wait for our moments to go on our runs. We executed really well in the end of each set; that is a great sign.”
Evansville got off to a quick start in game one, taking a 5-1 lead. Three different players had a kill in the stretch, including Kate Tsironis, who capped off the run. The Tigers came right back with a 5-1 stretch of their own to tie it up at 6-6. Tennessee State’s run continued as they opened up a 12-9 lead on a Julia Pierson kill. A Feliciano kill ended the stretch and Evansville was able to wrestle away their largest lead at 21-15 thanks to a Vazquez kill. The Tigers fought back once again, cutting the deficit to a point (24-23), but Feliciano put the finishing touches on the set with a kill that gave UE the 25-23 win.
Tennessee State regrouped and took an early 11-4 lead in the second frame. The Tiger defense forced four consecutive errors by the Aces. Their lead reached as many as seven (13-6) before the Aces rallied back. Trailing 16-12, Evansville reeled off six of the next eight points to tie the game at 18-18. After swapping the lead twice, UE grabbed the lead for good at 21-20. The set was clinched on a Patricia Joseph kill that made it another 25-23 final.
Three ties in the third game led to a 7-7 score before Tennessee State recorded four in a row to take an 11-7 edge. UE chipped away and was able to tie it up at 16-16 forcing a TSU time out. With the score knotted at 18-all, a TSU error coupled with a Feliciano kill gave the Aces a 20-18 lead, forcing the Tigers to take their final time out of the game. From there, the Aces held strong and clinched the 3-0 road sweep on Feliciano’s 15th kill of the evening. The 25-22 victory saw the Aces even their season record at 2-2.
This weekend, the Aces will be inside Meeks Family Fieldhouse for the first time this season, hosting the Dunn Hospitality Tournament. Evansville takes on Purdue Fort Wayne at 6 p.m. Friday before welcoming Eastern Illinois and Middle Tennessee State on Saturday.
Courtesy: UE Athletics