Volleyball Falls In Home Finale

dropped its 2021 home volleyball finale by a 3-0 margin to Arkansas-Pine Bluff Monday night inside the Recreation Center. 

Prior to the game, TSU honored four of its seniors in Radka Brichackova, Alyssa Chuidian Valencia Grayson and Maria Salazar-Gutierrez as Brichackova and Salazar-Gutierrez are two-year letterwinners while Chuidian and Grayson have been with the program for four years. 

  jumped out to a 10-4 lead in set one but TSU rallied back with six straight points to knot the contest at 10-all. From there it was a back-and-forth affair as UAPB would take a 17-13 lead until a Thelma Cordero-Moreno kill to the right side of the UAPB court drew TSU to 17-14. TSU managed to get within 19-16 after a big kill from Radka Brichackova but UAPB would keep scoring until a Jada Hall block. UAPB held a 21-18 lead late but TSU missed a prime opportunity to cut the lead due to a service error. After a timeout, TSU would score two straight to draw within 22-20 but surrendered the ball on a ball handling error. UAPB scored to make it set point but Janiya Chapman’s kill kept TSU alive as they trailed 24-21. However, UAPB would end the set with a kill to the middle of the TSU lineup for a 1-0 lead. 

UAPB opened with a 3-0 lead until Brichackova’s block gave TSU its first point of the set. TSU’s front line would contribute once again as Maria Salazar-Gutierrez had a kill followed by a Cordero-Moreno kill to trail 5-4. A Kynnedi Brown ace tied the contest at 5-all but UAPB regained a 6-5 lead with a kill. UAPB would keep the momentum with three straight for a 9-5 advantage until a pair of TSU points as they trailed 10-7. 

Similar to set one, every time TSU would rally UAPB would counter as TSU tied the contest at 12-all before a UAPB kill which barely stayed in-bounds for a 13-12 lead.  UAPB would push its lead to 15-12 until a Salazar-Gutierrez kill as both teams traded points. UAPB increased its lead to 19-16 until Danielle Lilley’s kill but the momentum was lost immediately on a service error by TSU which turned into a 21-17 Golden Lion lead that forced TSU to call a timeout.  TSU would commit a ball handling error coming out of the timeout but Salazar-Gutierrez hit a ball too hot for UAPB to handle to draw within 23-17. Once again though, a TSU service error gave UAPB the momentum and ultimately the set as TSU couldn’t get the opposing serve off on set point. 

TSU came out slow to begin set three as UAPB led 5-0 until TSU stormed back to trail 5-4. UAPB would up the margin to 10-6 but TSU fought back for a 10-8 deficit until an error gave UAPB the point. Once again, when TSU would get within three points (15-11) the wall to get over the hump would get higher as a TSU error and UAPB block forced a TSU timeout trailing 16-11. TSU regrouped after the timeout and narrowed the gap to 17-15 but gave up two quick points before a Salazar-Gutierrez touch kill ended the rally. Unfortunately, TSU couldn’t recover as UAPB would ultimately claim the match 3-0. 
Salazar-Gutierrez led TSU with eight kills while Lilley added four assisted blocks. Valencia Grayson had eight digs followed by seven each from Aeris Ramsey and Alyssa Chuidian. 

TSU is back in action for the 2021 SWAC Tournament Friday at the Crossplex. For more information, log on to www.swac.org.

Courtesy: TSUSports.com


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