LORMAN, Miss. – Texas Southern started SWAC play off on a positive and enduring note as they defeated Alcorn State 3-0 Sunday afternoon inside the Whitney Complex.
TSU handled business in the opening set as they jumped out to a 12-5 lead and held ground as the closest Alcorn State would draw was six points en route to a 25-16 win. Set two was a different story as it was about endurance as both teams nearly played two games inside of one.
Both teams continued to trade leads from the opening set as TSU would claim a 15-13 lead. Alcorn State battled back with three of the next four points to tie it at 16-all before a kill from Thalia Cordero Moreno sent the lead back to TSU. There were three ties from that point but a service error from ASU allowed TSU to regain a 21-20 margin. Alcorn State would reel off three straight to lead 23-21 but TSU battled back with its backs against the wall as ASU committed a service error followed by a Chenise Cook block to knot the score at 23-all. ASU would force match point with a kill but an ASU service error forced extra play as the contest was tied at 24.
From there it was all about willpower as ASU had match point on five occasions compared to three times from TSU. With TSU down 32-31, ASU committed a service error which allowed TSU to knot the contest at 32-all. Jada Hall and Janiya Chapman came up big defensively with an assisted block for the lead which paved the way for Hall’s game-winning kill as TSU won 34-32.
Set three was headed down the same path early on with five ties within the first eight points. ASU opened up its lead with a 3-0 run to lead 11-8 and remained ahead 13-11 but TSU closed the gap as Chapman recorded a kill followed by a Kyira Porch ace to knot the contest at 13-all. ASU would score four of the next five points to move back ahead 17-14 but Hall came up with an important kill followed by two ASU attack errors to knot the set at 17. ASU once again went on a 4-0 run to create separation (21-17) but TSU continued to live up to its fight song motto of fight, fight and fight as Hall opened with a kill along with an assisted block from Caitlyn Roland and Cook. Hall recorded a service ace to bring TSU within one at 21-20.
Alcorn State’s Makayla Wardlaw had back-to-back kills to lift the Braves to a 23-20 advantage. Chenise Cook came through with a huge kill to end the run which was followed by Aeris Ramsey’s service ace. ASU committed another attack error and Ramsey made them pay with an ace along with Caitlyn Roland’s kill to end the match ahead 25-23.
Cook, Chapman and Cordero Moreno led TSU with eight kills apiece while Dallas Balanay-Flores had a team-high 17 assists followed by 16 from Ramsey. Caitlyn Roland had a team-best 17 digs defensively while Cordero Moreno, Porch and Ramsey had 14, 13 and 10 digs, respectively. Cook also led TSU three blocks.
TSU is back in action versus Southern at 6 p.m. on Monday night in Baton Rouge, La.