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Lady Govs volleyball faces big conference weekend

 

APSU Women’s Volleyball

Austin Peay State University GovernorsClarksville, TN – Three of the Ohio Valley Conference’s top four teams will be in town this weekend when the second-place Austin Peay State University volleyball team hosts a pair of league matches. First up is a 6:00pm, Friday contest against league-leader and unbeaten Morehead State. The Lady Govs will then host fourth-place Eastern Kentucky in a 2:00pm, Saturday outing. Admission to all contests is free.

Austin Peay (15-4, 6-2 OVC) returns home after a tough road swing last week, as it played to five sets in both matches. The Lady Govs fell at Eastern Kentucky, October 5th, before bouncing back with a victory at Tennessee State, last Saturday.  Both of Austin Peay’s conference losses have come on the road this season, but they are unbeaten (4-0) at the Dunn Center.

Lady Govs Volleyball. (Courtesy: Keith Dorris/Dorris Photography)

Lady Govs Volleyball. (Courtesy: Keith Dorris/Dorris Photography)

Junior Ilyanna Hernandez had a huge hand in the Lady Govs five-set victory at Tennessee State, posting a career-high 21 kills. She enters the weekend ranked ninth among the league’s hitters, averaging 3.06 kills per set. Sophomore Nikki Doyle remains ranked second in the same category, averaging 3.77 kills per set.

“Illyanna is doing some really good things in practice and as a leader right now,” said Lady Govs head coach Haley Janicek. “I believe that match (at Tennessee State) – up to this point – was the match of her career. There was a lot of pressure on us to win that match and she said ‘I’ll take it.’ She honestly carried the team on her back that night. I believe that was the first of many positive things to come from her this season.”

Morehead State (15-6, 8-0 OVC) brings its unblemished league mark to the Dunn Center. The Eagles will be playing just their third road match this season, winning at Eastern Illinois and Southeast Missouri, September 24th-25th. Morehead State has won its last six matches and has won 15 consecutive sets. Senior Holly Evans leads the league with a .352 attack percentage while averaging 2.83 kills per set.

“Morehead State is doing some really nice things,” said Janicek. “I was watching an interview with their (MSU head coach) Jamie Gordon and he said he believes what they do well is steal points from their opponent at critical times. In order for us to be successful we have to make sure in the midst of chaos – when things aren’t running smoothly – that we maintain our composure. I have no doubt in my mind that Friday’s match will be a battle. We are looking forward to the match.”

Eastern Kentucky (6-11, 5-3 OVC) is one of two teams to hand Austin Peay a conference loss this season and it has since extended that win into a three-match win streak. The Lady Colonels have won four of their last five matches, losing only to Morehead State in that stretch.  Freshman Ashley Edmond is ranked fourth among the league’s hitters with 3.36 kills per set.

“I believe our girls have pretty level heads and they prefer to focus on our side of the net,” Janicek said. “I believe they are disappointed in themselves and how they played at Eastern Kentucky and that’s pushing them going in to the match with Eastern Kentucky.”

Both matches are a part of Austin Peay Athletics’ “Peay-Tastic” Weekend. Friday’s match, which will be available on www.OVCSports.tv, will precede the department’s “Reigning Red” promotion to kickoff the upcoming basketball season. Saturday’s match will precede the Governors football contest against nationally-ranked Southeast Missouri.


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