APSU Sports Information: APSU Volleyball
Clarksville, TN – With injuries and illness depleting its roster, Austin Peay State University’s volleyball team turned to freshman Jada Stotts who turned in her season’s best performance in a five-set Ohio Valley Conference victory against Eastern Kentucky, Monday night, at the Dunn Center.
Stotts was tapped for her second career start after Austin Peay (4-14, 2-5 OVC) saw junior Alex Sain and senior Kayla Grantham – their two regular right-side hitters – sidelined due to illness and injury, respectively. Stotts responded with aplomb, posting a career-best 13 kills with a .414 attack percentage.However, it was her performance in the fifth set that helped the Lady Govs win their second consecutive match for their season’s first winning streak. With the Lady Govs trailing 5-2, Stotts single-handedly drew them level, first with a kill to gain the serve and then posting consecutive service aces while on serve to tie the set, 5-5. She saw two more APSU points scored while she was on serve for a 7-5 lead.
“Jada stepped up big tonight,” said Lady Govs head coach Bill Egbert. “We had out two regular starters go down and we turned to her and asked her to performance in a different spot in the lineup. I was impressed with her performance tonight.”
Eastern Kentucky (9-9, 4-3 OVC) would regain the lead later in the set thanks to a pair of APSU miscues, but Austin Peay did not fold, tying the set at 12-12 on junior Nikki Doyle’s kill and taking the lead for good on Doyle’s ensuing service ace. Eastern Kentucky surrendered the final two points on attack errors – the final point courtesy an APSU block by senior Ilyanna Hernandez and sophomore Lauren Henderson – and APSU won the set 15-12.
The first four sets were see-saw affairs with the more efficient offense pulling out the victory. The first set saw the team’s level with 15 kills each, but Austin Peay committed four fewer attack errors to win 25-23. Eastern Kentucky leveled the match with a 16-kill, .270 attack percentage effort in the second set.
After the break, Austin Peay again posted the better offensive performance with a match-best 16 kills and .308 attack percentage to win a 25-21 decision. But the Lady Govs were dominated offensive in the fourth set, scoring just 10 kills and committing six errors while Eastern Kentucky posted its best effort of the night – an 18-kill, .485-attack percentage effort – that tied the match.
“Looking at the stat sheet after the match and the numbers say we shouldn’t have won tonight,” said Egbert. “However, we showed heart and determination when it mattered most and that helped us win tonight. We have to be more consistent in the future, but we’ll be happy with the victory tonight.”
Stotts and Doyle each had 13 kills to lead Austin Peay. Hernandez and freshman Hillary Plybon each added 10 kills.
Ashley Edmond led Eastern Kentucky with 24 kills and a .388 attack percentage, but 13 of her kills came in the first two sets. Hannah Burkle added 19 kills.
Austin Peay continues its five-match homestand with a 7:00pm, Friday contest against Southeast Missouri.