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HomeSportsLady Govs volleyball battles in season opener, falls in four sets

Lady Govs volleyball battles in season opener, falls in four sets

APSU Sports: Women’s Volleyball

Austin Peay State University Lady GovsTuscaloosa, AL – Austin Peay State University’s volleyball team opened the 2011 campaign with a four set loss (19-25, 25-20, 16-25, 21-25) at Alabama, Friday night, in the Hampton Inn Bama Bash at Foster Auditorium.

After losing a first set in which it never led, Austin Peay (0-1) showed its resiliency in the second set. The Lady Govs trailed 5-3 only to watch Alabama surrender consecutive points on errors to tie the set. Moments later, senior outside hitter Ilyanna Hernandez and freshman setter Cami Fields scored back-to-back kills to give Austin Peay a 7-5 lead.

Senior outside hitter Ilyanna Hernandez led the Lady Govs with 12 kills in their season-opening four set loss at Alabama, Friday. (Courtesy: Keith Dorris/Dorris Photography)Senior outside hitter Ilyanna Hernandez led the Lady Govs with 12 kills in their season-opening four set loss at Alabama, Friday. (Courtesy: Keith Dorris/Dorris Photography)
Senior outside hitter Ilyanna Hernandez led the Lady Govs with 12 kills in their season-opening four set loss at Alabama, Friday. (Courtesy: Keith Dorris/Dorris Photography)

The lead would not grow larger than two points until senior right side hitter Kayla Grantham and junior outside hitter Nikki Doyle scored consecutive kills and extended the lead to 21-18. Grantham and Hernandez scored two of the set’s final three points to seal the 25-20 victory.

Alabama (2-0) roared back after the break, scoring seven consecutive points to turn a 5-4 Austin Peay lead into an 11-5 Alabama advantage. The Lady Govs did not help their cause, committing four errors in the first half of the burst to spark the Crimson Tide run. The Lady Govs closed to within one point, 13-12, but could not force another tie en route to a 25-16 loss.

Ilyanna HernandezThe fourth set was a see-saw affair early with seven ties. The two teams traded errors to settle on the set’s final tie at 14-14 before Alabama scored the next four points to take an 18-14 lead which they would not relinquish.

“We were a little shaky in our first set of the year,” said Lady Govs head coach Bill Egbert. “We played great in the second set and the fourth set, but ultimately we didn’t make enough plays late to swing the match our way.”

The Lady Govs showed off a balanced offensive attack with five players recording six or more kills. Hernandez led the offensive effort with 12 kills while chipping in 12 digs. Doyle added 10 kills, but was held to a .087 attack percentage. Junior middle blocker Lauren Henderson had six kills and a team-best .357 attack percentage.

Cami Fields“We worked hard in the preseason on getting everyone involved offensively,” said Egbert. “The more balanced we are the better off we will be in the long run. I believe we did a good job of moving the offense through different players tonight.”
Freshman setter Cami Fields performed well in her first collegiate outing, finishing with 34 assists, three kills and nine digs.

“Cami did a great job, especially considering it was her first match,” Egbert said. “I was pleased with her leadership and intensity on the court. She got her collegiate career off to a good start tonight.”

Junior outside hitter Kayla Fritterer led Alabama with 20 kills and no attack errors for a match-best .385 attack percentage. Sophomore outside hitter Cortney Warren added 11 kills off the bench.

Austin Peay returns to action with a 10:00am. contest against Alabama State. The Lady Govs conclude their stay at the Bama Bash with a 3:00pm affair against Texas State.

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