APSU Women’s Volleyball
Austin Peay State University’s volleyball team ends its season-opening 10-match road swing when it competes in the Buccaneer Classic hosted by East Tennessee, Friday and Saturday.
Austin Peay (6-1) opens the tournament against host East Tennessee (4-3) in a 7:00pm, Friday contest. The Lady Govs then will meet UNC Asheville (4-3) at 9:00am, Saturday, before concluding its stay with a 4:30pm match against UNC Greensboro (7-1).
The Lady Govs will take a five-match win streak into this weekend’s contests after winning all three matches at the IUPUI Hampton Inn Invitational last weekend. Austin Peay has finished second in its first two tournaments this season, posting a 3-1 record at the Mississippi State Maroon Classic over the season’s opening weekend.Junior outside hitter Ilyanna Hernandez was named the Ohio Valley Conference’s “Player of the Week” after recording 46 kills at the IUPUI tournament. She is second on the team with 85 kills (3.40 kills per set) and has a .237 attack percentage this season. Sophomore Nikki Doyle leads the Lady Govs with 97 kills (3.88 kills per set).
Defensively, junior Paige Economos also was named to the IUPUI all-tournament team, along with Hernandez, after recording 46 digs during the tournament. She enters the weekend with 101 digs this season (4.04 digs per set). At the net, three Lady Govs have double-digit blocks already this season – seniors Jessica Mollman (19 blocks) and Taylor Skinner (17) are first and second on the list and both recorded their respective 200th career blocks in the season’s first two weeks. Junior outside hitter Kayla Grantham adds 14 blocks to the Lady Govs front-row effort.
“This weekend will be a great opportunity for us to continue to improve,” said Lady Govs head coach Haley Janicek. “We had a great week of practice and we got better. East Tennessee’s tournament is going to have some really competitive teams that will make us better.
“I have been really impressed with our improvement over past couple of weeks. The team has continued to push through and work hard. I couldn’t ask more of them. We are a more balanced and disciplined team this year which has really helped our team’s success.”
East Tennessee hosts this weekend’s tournament after winning the Radford Tournament last weekend. The Buccaneers won five-set affairs against Canisius and Davidson before sweeping Norfolk State in three sets. Those three victories helped erase a tough start which included losses to Georgia, Wake Forest and Appalachian State in their first four matches.
ETSU’s offense is still trying to find its footing, averaging just 10.78 kills per set – APSU is averaging 13.6 kills per set by comparison. Junior Jamie Stancliff was named the Atlantic Sun’s “Player of the Week” after recording 28 kills and a .349 attack percentage in four matches last week.
UNC Asheville won four straight matches, including the first three matches of the South Alabama Invitational, before falling to Alabama A&M in the tournament finale. Senior Kelsey Benorden has 106 kills (4.24 kills per set) through the season’s first seven matches and was named the Big South’s “Player of the Week,” Tuesday, after posting 67 kills at the South Alabama Invitational.
UNC Greensboro opened the season with six consecutive victories before falling to Central Florida at the UNC Wilmington Tournament last weekend. The Spartans rebounded with a victory against host UNCW in the tournament’s final match. Seniors Kayren Finney and Caley Redden were named to the all-tournament team after finishing with 20 and 24 kills, respectively.
Live video will be provided for all matches at ASUN.tv.