APSU Women’s Volleyball
Clarksville, TN – After its recent up-and-down weekend, Austin Peay State University’s volleyball team moves solidly into the second half of Ohio Valley Conference play with a three-match road trip beginning this weekend. The Lady Govs open the trip with a 7:00pm, Friday contest at UT Martin followed by a 2:00pm, Saturday affair at Murray State.
Austin Peay (16-5, 7-3 OVC) closed the first half of league action with an upset victory of then-OVC unbeaten Morehead State. However, the Lady Govs followed that by opening the second half of the league slate with a loss to Eastern Kentucky. The split of last weekend’s matches left Austin Peay tied for second place with Eastern Kentucky, two games behind league-leading Morehead State.
“The key for us is to be consistent across the board,” said Lady Govs head coach Haley Janicek. “You can’t play the top team in the conference really well and then come back and play a team behind you in the standings and be all over the place. So we’ve got to be a more even-keeled team that can be consistently consistent. The team knows that’s what is going to help us win.”
The Lady Govs open the weekend at UT Martin (4-18, 2-8 OVC) which proved that it is better than its record in the season’s first meeting between the two teams. Austin Peay won that match in three sets, but was pushed to the brink in the first two sets. Since that meeting, the Skyhawks have picked up a pair of OVC wins, sweeping its regular-season series against Southeast Missouri.
“I don’t ever underestimate a team in this conference,” Janicek said. “I believe every team in this conference has the ability to knock someone off. We didn’t play our best when we faced UT Martin earlier this season; there are definitely some things we have to get better at against them.”
Austin Peay has not had much success at Racer Arena, home of Murray State’s (9-12, 5-5 OVC) volleyball team. The Lady Govs have lost their last four meetings in Murray and have won just eight matches all-time at Racer Arena. Austin Peay won the season’s first meeting in four sets, needing a 23-kill performance by sophomore Nikki Doyle to post the victory.
“Murray State is a very dangerous team,” said Janicek.”They have really good attack efficiency. They are playing for a reason right now – trying to make the tournament. It’s a team that it is important we don’t overlook.”