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Lady Govs show grit in four-set loss to Elon

 

APSU Sports: Women’s Volleyball

Austin Peay State University Lady GovsIndianapolis, IN – Austin Peay State University’s volleyball team fought tooth and nail, but fell in four sets (23-25, 21-25, 29-27, 26-28) to Elon in its final match at the Butler Invitational, Saturday, at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

The first two sets saw Austin Peay (2-8) continue to battle late set woes. The Lady Govs were the first team to 20 points in both sets, but could not close out either time. Austin Peay led 21-17 in the opening set but Elon stormed back with an 8-2 run to win the set. The Lady Govs held an even larger advantage (20-15) in the second set, but Elon again responded with an impressive 10-1 run to win the set.

Austin Peay Women's volleyball team. ( Courtesy: Lois Jones/Austin Peay )

Austin Peay Women's volleyball team. ( Courtesy: Lois Jones/Austin Peay )

The match’s third set was a mirror image of the second as Elon (8-3) was the first team to 20 points. The Phoenix held a 20-15 lead in the third set before Austin Peay made a 8-3 run, including six consecutive points on freshman setter Cami Fields serve, to take a 23-22 lead. The set ventured into overtime where the Lady Govs fended off three set points before an Elon attack error and an Ilyanna Hernandez kill secured the 29-27 victory.

Kayla GranthamElon again was the first team to 20 points in the fourth and led 20-16. The Phoenix would maintain that lead all the way to 23-20 before four consecutive Lady Govs points. Austin Peay would have an opportunity to win the set at 25-24, but Elon won the next two points to set up its first match point. Freshman middle blocker Hillary Plybon’s kill saved the first opportunity but Elon scored the next two points to post a match-ending 28-26 set win.

“We fought hard today,” said Lady Govs head coach Bill Egbert. “However we made mental errors that cost us the match. We’ll have to keep working on that part of our game with conference starting next weekend.”

Nikki DoyleFor the first time this season, three Austin Peay hitters posted more than 10 kills. Senior outside hitter Kayla Grantham and junior Nikki Doyle each had 14 kills while senior outside hitter Ilyanna Hernandez added 11 kills.

Elon, which won the match by six points, posted a 62-55 advantage in kills. Chantelle Smith led the Phoenix with 20 kills.

Austin Peay will travel to Lipscomb for a 7:00pm, Wednesday contest that will serve as its final non-conference tuneup.


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