Walters State has yet to lose a game inside 'Z' Buda Gymnasium this season and they weren't about to let a conference rival change that. The Lady Senators blasted Cleveland State off the court Tuesday, sweeping the Lady Cougars 3-0 (25-6, 25-10, 25-15).
"We were really looking forward to defending our home court," coach Megan Blaylock said. "We're undefeated here so far this year. We're going to carry that as long as we can."
It all began with a monster night at the service line for Walters State (9-4, 1-0 TJCCAA). The Lady Senators recorded 15 service aces in the match, with freshman Jania Hill (Morristown, Tenn.) dealing up seven. Most of those seven came in the first match.
"We really emphasize a tough serve and I don't think it could have played out any better than it did tonight," Blaylock said. "That's what you want to see when you practice something for so long and for so many hours. We put in the work, so it's about time it started showing up."
When the ball did get back over the net, points didn't last long. Walters State recorded 26 kills as a team, with freshman Olivia Oxendine (Pensacola, Fla.) leading the way with eight. As a team, the Lady Cougars (2-9, 0-1) had just 12 kills total in all three games. Stephanie Burke led Cleveland State with five.
Sophomore Courtney Dotson (Greeneville, Tenn.) and freshman Hannah Daniel (Bristol, Tenn.) ended the match with four kills apiece. Freshman Amanda Singleton (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Hill each had three.
A 25-6 blowout in game one was followed by another in game two, 25-10. This time the service streaks didn't last as long, but Cleveland State could never stack more than a couple of points together before siding out.
Even with the runaway victory all but academic, Walters State never lost its energy level. At the net, the Lady Senators put five blocks on the state sheet and recorded 39 digs as a team.
"That's all we can ask for, for them to be excited and bring the energy," Blaylock said. "The defense did look really good. We're a solid team defensively and I think the offense is catching up now. We're pulling it all together. I think we were trying to make a point tonight. We don't want to mess around with conference games. We want to get it done when we can."
The final game saw the Lady Cougars put forth their best effort before falling 25-15. Burke picked up two of her kills in the game, with Sydney Allen adding a service ace and a block.
Oxendine recorded four service aces for Walters State and sophomore Alexis Wakefield (Portland, Tenn.) had four to go with her team-leading 11 digs. Freshman Taylor Tigue (Franklin, Tenn.) notched eight digs and Dotson posted seven.
The Lady Senators will try to keep their home win streak alive Friday when they host TJCCAA rival Chattanooga State at 6 p.m. in 'Z' Buda Gymnasium.
Walters State Community College
Sports Information Director
Cell: (423) 736-0849