Courtesy Kentucky State Athletics

The Kentucky State University volleyball team opened up the Southern Intercollegiate West Division Cluster with a hard fought loss to Spring Hill, 3-1 (25-13, 23-25, 25-10, 25-20), Thursday at the William Exum Center.

Spring Hill scored nine straight points to claim the 14-9 lead in the opening set, and was able to turn that momentum into a first set victory.

Four straight service points from freshman Brianna Etienne (Houston, Texas) pushed the Thorobreds out to an early lead in the second set. It was a lead that Kentucky State held until a late Badger push enabled SHC to tie the match at 23. However, a SHC service error and senior Tapanga Moten (New Orleans, La.) kill gave the Green & Gold the set.

It marked the second time in two straight matches KSU has dealt Spring Hill a set defeat.

The Badgers rebounded with a 25-10 win in the third set, but Kentucky State wouldn’t go away quietly. After falling behind 14-8, KSU displayed the heart of a champion by clawing back. Four straight points, pulled KSU to with three, 20-17, led to a SHC timeout.

Unfortunately for the Thorobreds, the timeout enabled Spring Hill to regain its footing and the Badgers scored four straight to get on the cusp of victory.

Moten was proficient at the net with seven kills on 12 attempts and just one error, while adding two solo blocks and a block assist.

Junior Robin Poole (Katy, Texas) led the team with eight kills on 26 attempts with five errors.

Freshman Makayla Berry (Orangeburg, S.C.) finished with a team-high 13 digs, while sophomore Jalyn Barnett (Detroit, Mich.) added 12. Berry added a team-best three service aces.

Barnett and junior Sasha Bills (Mesa, Ariz.) finished with eight assists each.

Kentucky State (1-2) return to the court 3 p.m. Friday to host Tuskegee and 5 p.m. Friday, hosting LeMoyne-Owen.

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