The Texas Southern volleyball team will have a busy trek ahead of them as they’ll head to Alcorn State for a makeup match on Thursday followed by home matches on Sunday and Monday. With a critical stretch coming up, the team is slowly forming an identity as it picked up its first win of 2021 and first career win for head coach Gabrielle Floyd after a hard-fought 3-2 win over Grambling this past weekend.
Unlike its previous matches, TSU came out the aggressor as in set one, they turned a 12-11 deficit into a 17-13 lead led by Thelma Cordero-Moreno’s three kills. The lead grew to 20-14 until a brief 2-0 run by GSU. TSU came back on fire and closed out the set with a 5-0 run for a 25-16 win. Set two was a mirror of set one as both teams started out evenly until TSU turned up the intensity and dominated the set as they stormed out to a 17-6 lead. In what could be seen as foreshadowing, the once safe lead nearly evaporated as Grambling State went on a 10-2 run to draw within 19-16 as the run came to half thanks to a GSU service error.
Danielle Lilley served up an ace to move ahead 21-16 but two TSU errors saw GSU hang around and narrow the gap to 21-18. The set went back-and-forth until a pair of TSU points via an attack error ace closed out the set at 25-20.
Set three saw GSU beginning to gain confidence as the Lady Tigers jumped out 12-5 and eventually 15-9 but an all-around team effort sparked a 10-2 run for a 19-17 TSU lead. Grambling State answered with a 6-1 run to regain the lead but TSU took advantage of GSU errors to regain a 24-23 advantage. However, GSU tied the contest on a kill and sealed the set thanks to a TSU attack error and service ace.
Set four had an identical ending as both teams fought to a 23-all tie until a GSU kill gave them a 24-23 lead. Lilley’s kill tied the set at 24-all but Grambling forced a deciding set on a kill and TSU attack error to win 26-24.
The fifth and deciding set saw TSU break open a 3-3 tie thanks to offensive production from Lilley, Cordero-Moreno and Janiya Chapman. Leading 10-6, TSU found a way to finally close the door early as Grambling State drew to within 11-9 but a Jada Hall block moved the ball back to TSU leading 12-0. From there, TSU handled business as they went on a 4-1 run to earn its first win of 2021.
Cordero-Moreno led the way with 20 kills and 20 digs while Lilley added 13 kills and 16 digs. Aeris Ramsey had 27 assists followed by 24 from Alyssa Chuidian. Kynnedi Brown had a string game defensively with 33 digs.