APSU Sports Information: APSU Volleyball
Martin, TN – Senior outside hitter Ilyanna Hernandez recorded a career-high 26 kills to help Austin Peay State University’s volleyball team post a five-set (26-24, 25-23, 22-25, 25-27, 15-13) Ohio Valley Conference victory against UT Martin, Saturday, at Skyhawk Fieldhouse.The win, along with a Saturday loss by Murray State, helped the Lady Govs move into a three-team tie for sixth place in the OVC regular-season race. In addition, those three teams stand just one game behind fifth-place Eastern Kentucky.
Hernandez’ 26-kill performance, highlighted by an eight-kill third-set effort, was the best outing by a Lady Govs hitter this season. It also was the second best outing by an OVC hitter this season and Hernandez has two of the league’s top 10 efforts in 2011.
Austin Peay (10-19, 8-10 OVC) began the match by rallying from a 14-12 deficit in the opening set, scoring four consecutive points to take a 17-16 lead. Austin Peay would hold that lead until it committed back-to-back attack errors, allowing UT Martin to tie the set, 24-24. However, junior Nikki Doyle recorded a kill to break the tie and sophomore Calyn Hull served up an ace to win the set, 26-24.
The Lady Govs nearly led the second set wire-to-wire. Austin Peay led by five points, 19-14, only to watch UT Martin slowly reel the set back to a 22-22 tie after a Kelly Hogan kill. Again, the Lady Govs got the next point after the tie – on a UTM attack error – and took a two-point, 24-22, lead on senior Paige Economos’ service ace. The Skyhawks staved off one set point but Hernandez’ fifth kill of the set secured the 25-23 victory.
UT Martin (15-12, 10-7 OVC) flipped the script in the third set, leading most of the way with only six ties. The Skyhawks held their largest lead at 7-3 but Austin Peay scored the next four points to tie the set, 7-7. UTM would not lead by more than three points the set’s remainder. The Lady Govs would tie the set for the final time at 22-22, but the Skyhawks scored the next point on an Emily Keaton kill to break the tie. An APSU error set up set point, which UTM secured with a Kelly Hogan kill to win 25-22.
The fourth set was a battle throughout with Austin Peay and UT Martin fighting through 11 ties and seven lead changes. UT Martin had the first set point opportunity at 24-23, but Austin Peay scored the next two points on kills by freshman Hillary Plybon and Doyle to take a 25-24 lead and set up a match-point chance. UT Martin denied that match point thanks to an Allie Whimpey kill and then watched APSU commit back-to-back attack errors to hand the set to UTM, 27-25.
UT Martin led the fifth set, 8-6, at the changeover. Austin Peay tied the set, 10-10, after consecutive Doyle kills and took the lead on a UTM attack error. The Skyhawks would force two further ties but Austin Peay got to 13-12 on a Hernandez kill and to match point, 14-12, after a Economos kill. Britany Wilburn notched a kill to stave off that first match point but Hernandez and Plybon combined for a block on the next point to give APSU a 15-13 match-securing set win.
At the end of the five-match outing, Austin Peay won by a single point, 113-112. UT Martin out-hit the Lady Govs in both kills (74-69) and attack percentage (.236-.222). However, Austin Peay held the edge in service aces (7-4) and blocks (10-3).
Hernandez recorded a .260 attack percentage with her 26-kill effort, also added two service aces, 13 digs and three blocks. Doyle added 17 kills and a .259 attack percentage. Freshman setter Cami Fields was credited with 54 assists.
Wilburn led UT Martin with 22 kills and a .333 attack percentage. Doherty added 17 kills and a .350 attack percentage.
Austin Peay returns to action with a 6:30pm, Friday contest at Southeast Missouri before wrapping up the regular season with a 6:00pm, Saturday contest at Murray State.
Ilyanna Hernandez was selected as the Copies in a Flash Player of the Match.