Golden Suns Off to Best Start in Nine Years

Arkansas Tech University is off to its best start to a volleyball season since 2008.

The Golden Suns (4-0) opened their 2017 campaign with four consecutive victories at the Washburn University Invitational in Topeka, Kan., on Friday and Saturday.

It marks the sixth time in program history and the first time in nine years that ATU has won its first four volleyball matches of a season.

Tech will host Bacone College at 2 p.m. and Williams Baptist College at 6 p.m. for a pair of non-conference matches at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Tuesday, Sept. 5. Admission will be free.

Tech 3, Washburn 1

An edge in defense and Hunter Eshnaur’s 17 kills lifted Arkansas Tech to a 25-22, 22-25, 25-16, 25-19 victory over nationally 16th-ranked Washburn University on Friday.

The Golden Suns finished with a 76-65 advantage in digs, led by Madison Nagel’s 21 digs. Amanda Milnick notched 14 digs and Meredith Darnell had 12 digs. Eshnaur had 11 digs and Milnick contributed 31 assists.

Tech also won the battle at the net, making 19 blocks as compared to 10 for the Blues.

The Suns earned their first win over a nationally-ranked NCAA Division II opponent since Sept. 29, 2011, when they defeated No. 23 Harding University in five sets.

Tech 3, Emporia State 0

Allie Anderson recorded 13 kills and Lexie Johnston added 12 kills in Arkansas Tech’s 25-22, 25-20, 25-22 win over Emporia State University on Friday.

Milnick had 32 assists and Nagel made 16 digs for the Golden Suns.

Tech 3, Pittsburg State 0

Arkansas Tech held Pittsburg State to a negative team hitting percentage and blitzed the Gorillas 25-21, 25-13, 25-15 on Saturday.

Pitt State had 21 kills and 22 attack errors in 93 total attempts (-.011). The Golden Suns hit .245 (44 kills, 19 errors, 102 attempts).

Eshnaur notched 11 kills and Johnston made 10 kills for ATU.

Tech 3, Drury 1

Arkansas Tech won a match-up of previously undefeated teams by taking down Drury University 20-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-21 in the Golden Suns’ finale at Topeka on Saturday.

Tabitha Spray led Tech with 15 kills. Anderson added 13 kills, while Milnick notched a double-double with 38 assists and 16 digs. Nagel matched her with 16 digs of her own.