APSU Women’s Volleyball
Murray, KY – Austin Peay State University’s volleyball team won a five-set (18-25, 25-17, 25-20, 16-25, 15-13) Ohio Valley Conference battle against Murray State, Saturday, at Racer Arena.
Murray State (10-13, 6-6 OVC) opened the match in impressive fashion, winning the first set wire-to-wire. The Lady Govs scored five consecutive points to tie the set, 15-15, but could not gain a lead. The Racers closed the set with five straight points, including a pair of kills by both Sara Hayden and Ashley Nenninger, to post a 25-18 win.Austin Peay won the second and third sets, but did not grab control until late in both sets. The Lady Govs trailed in the second set, 8-5, but used another five-point scoring run to take a 10-8 lead.
The lead would not grow larger than three points until APSU built a five-point, 20-15, lead courtesy a 6-2 run. Austin Peay would close the second set with three consecutive points, including a kill by senior Jessica Mollmann and a service aces by sophomore Nikki Doyle, to cap the 25-17 victory.
The third set went back-and-forth – the two teams trading the lead eight times and battling through 11 ties. It would take a 5-1 Austin Peay run to break the set open at 23-19. Freshman Alex Sain helped the cause with a pair of kills and the Lady Govs were assisted by a pair of Murray State attack errors. Sain would later add a kill to set up set point which senior Sarah Alisaleh would win with a service ace, 25-20.
The Racers battled back in the fourth set, using a 9-3 run to turn a 9-9 tie into a 18-12 lead. Six different Racers contributed kills to the run, Jade Guo and Logan Su each recording a pair of kills.
The match’s decisive fifth set went down to the wire, with APSU and MSU trading the lead five times and battling through nine ties in the first-to-15 set. Murray State rallied back from a 13-11 deficit to tie the set, 13-13, on an Austin Peay service error and a Guo kill. But the Lady Govs held their ground, Doyle scoring a kill to set up match point and then winning the match with a service ace.
“We had contributions from a lot of players on the court today,” said Lady Govs head coach Haley Janicek. “We held our composure at all the right times and battled with a very good team. Murray State played very well today. The match could have gone either way.”
Doyle finished the day with team highs in kills (13) and service aces (three). Hernandez added 12 kills while Mollmann finished with nine kills and Sain chipped in seven kills. Austin Peay finished the match with 10 service aces – six different APSU players recording an ace.
Murray State’s Nenninger led all hitters with 16 kills off the bench. Su added 11 kills. The Racers – led by Mary Cunningham’s six blocks – won the blocking battle, 13-6, but could not translate that advantage onto the scoreboard.
Austin Peay closes out its three-match road trip with a visit to league-leading Morehead State for a 6:00pm (CT), Tuesday contest. The Eagles will hold a two-match lead over the Lady Govs entering that contest.