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Austin Peay Lady Govs Volleyball have simple task this weekend, Win

 

APSU Sports Information: Austin Peay Volleyball

Austin Peay State University Lady GovsClarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University volleyball team’s simplest path to the Ohio Valley Conference tournament is to just win its final two regular-season contests.

However, that task may be easier said than done with a 6:30pm, Friday visit to second-place Southeast Missouri, followed by what could be a crucial 6:00pm, Saturday contest at sixth-place Murray State – one of the teams the Lady Govs are tied with heading into the final weekend.

Austin Peay's volleyball team faces two pivotal road Ohio Valley Conference matches this weekend. Austin Peay Volleyball. (Courtesy: Keith Dorris/Dorris Photography)

Austin Peay's volleyball team faces two pivotal road Ohio Valley Conference matches this weekend. Austin Peay Volleyball. (Courtesy: Keith Dorris/Dorris Photography)

If Austin Peay, which is in a three-team tie for sixth place in the league standings, sweeps the weekend matches and Jacksonville State loses one of its final two contests, APSU would earn one of the six coveted spots into next weekend’s OVC championship. Anything less than a sweep by the Lady Govs could leave them at the mercy of an intricate tiebreaker system.

Ilyanna Hernandez“The best thing going into this weekend is we control our destiny,” said Lady Govs head coach Bill Egbert. “I believe if we go out there and play the way we are capable we will give ourselves an opportunity to make the tournament.”

The previous time Austin Peay met Southeast Missouri and Murray State it split the outings. The Lady Govs dropped a five-set decision to Southeast Missouri, October 7th, before a memorable three-set victory against Murray State, October 8th, that included an OVC record 43-41 third-set APSU win.

Austin Peay will turn to senior outside hitter Ilyanna Hernandez, the reigning adidas OVC Offensive Player of the Week, to help push it into the tournament. Hernandez recorded a career-high 26 kills in her last outing at UT Martin, last Saturday, and has recorded 66 kills (3.88 kills per set) in her last four matches.

Nikki DoyleHernandez won’t be alone with junior outside hitter Nikki Doyle providing support. Doyle has 65 kills (3.82 kills per set) in the last four matches, including a 17-kill performance against UT Martin.

“Ilyanna and Nikki are who make us go,” said Egbert. “If both of them are on the top of their game we are a tough team to beat. Ilyanna had an incredible weekend and I haven’t seen her more focused than she is right now. Nikki did a great job bouncing back from a bad outing at Tennessee State to help us at UT Martin and I expect her to continue playing well this weekend.”

Southeast Missouri (12-17, 10-8 OVC) is assured a spot in the tournament, but are still in the hunt for one of the top two seeds – and its resulting first-round bye. The Redhawks have alternated wins and losses in their last four matches, most recently losing a Tuesday home match to SIU Edwardsville.

Murray State (8-21, 8-10 OVC) returns to Racer Arena after dropping both ends of the Death Valley – Morehead State and Eastern Kentucky – road trip last weekend. However, the Racers own a four-match win streak at home where they are 6-3 this season.


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