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Lady Govs survive slow start, down Eastern Illinois

 

APSU Women’s Volleyball

Austin Peay State University GovernorsClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University’s volleyball team had to hang on during a rough start, but finished with a flourish to down Eastern Illinois in three sets (26-24, 25-20, 25-10), in Ohio Valley Conference action, Saturday, at the Dunn Center.

Austin Peay (14-3, 5-1 OVC) found itself in a battle from the match’s first serve as visiting Eastern Illinois jumped out to a 6-3 lead courtesy kills by Reyane Hutchinson, Jorie Dieter and Kelsey Orr. Austin Peay used a 7-2 run to take a 10-8 advantage, but could not hold the advantage.

Both teams would exchange the lead several times through the sets remainder. Eastern Illinois would have the first opportunity at set point, 24-23, but senior Jessica Mollman kill forced overtime. Junior Paige Economos followed with a kill to get the Lady Govs to their first set point which they converted on sophomore Nikki Doyle’s kill, winning 26-24.

The second set was another see-saw affair, Eastern Illinois (8-9, 1-4 OVC) again taking an early 9-6 lead with three straight points, forcing an Austin Peay timeout. The timeout stopped the EIU rally, but not the Panthers momentum as they maintained their small lead until the Lady Govs scored six straight points to turn a 19-16 deficit into a 22-19 lead and ultimately the 25-20 victory. Economos had a pair of service aces in the scoring run and her serving forced Eastern Illinois into several bad passes that led to more Austin Peay points.

Austin Peay came out of the mid-match break with a completely different mindset, using tough serving and a more aggressive offense to run away from Eastern Illinois to the tune of a 25-10 match-sealing victory. The Lady Govs scored 10 kills in the set, but used five service aces – three by Economos – and three blocks to wrap up the win.

Senior Taylor Skinner quietly had an impressive outing, finishing with nine kills on 10 attacks for a .900 attack percentage. Junior Ilyanna Hernandez and sophomore Nikki Doyle each added nine kills. Economos finished with five aces and 20 digs. The Lady Govs needed just 41 kills to post the victory.

Hutchinson led Eastern Illinois with a match-high 10 kills and Orr added nine kills, but no other hitter had more than six kills. The Panthers recorded 33 kills for the match but committed 12 attack errors, six in the final set.

Austin Peay returns to action with a 5:00pm, Tuesday, OVC contest at Eastern Kentucky.


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