APSU Sports: Austin Peay Volleyball
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University’s volleyball team will return from a 10-day break to open its home schedule with a pair of Ohio Valley Conference contests at the Dunn Center. First up is a 7:00pm, Friday contest against Jacksonville State that will be followed by a 2:00pm, Saturday contest against Tennessee Tech.
Fans will be able to enjoy both contests with free admission each day.The Lady Govs (6-9) will return to action for the first time since defeating in-state rival Middle Tennessee in three sets, September 11th. It was the latest win in a three-game win streak Austin Peay carries into this weekend’s contests. The Lady Govs also have won four of their last five, the lone loss coming in four sets at Alabama.
Austin Peay’s offense – led by sophomore outside hitter Jada Stotts – has picked up the pace since a September 4th loss to Lipscomb. In the five contests since that loss Austin Peay has posted a .292 attack percentage – a 95-point improvement over the season’s first 10 matches. The Lady Govs haven’t noticeably moved the needle when it comes to converting kills – 13.12 in the last five versus 12.00 prior to the run – but it is their accuracy that has made the marked move with only 3.81 errors per set against a gaudy 5.00 miscues per set at the season’s start.
“We have really improved on the offensive side of the game,” said Lady Govs head coach Taylor Mott. “A lot of credit goes to (sophomore setter) Cami Fields who has done a great job of running the offense and getting the ball to our hot hitters.”
Stotts’ numbers are certainly attention grabbing. Her 19-kill performance in three sets at Middle Tennessee pushed her to 195 kills this season. Stotts’ 3.82 kill per set mark ranks third among conference hitters and sits in the top 100 nationally.
In addition, senior outside hitter Nikki Doyle has shown improvement during this successful stretch, averaging 3.40 kills per set and posting a .282 attack percentage in the last five matches. Junior middle blocker Lauren Henderson has also picked up the pace, posting a .346 attack percentage and an impressive 16 service aces.
“Jada is a big part of our offense right now, but we will need everyone to step up when they are called on,” said Mott. “We will not continue to be successful if only one hitter is showing up night-to-night. Our conference opponents will adjust to what we’re doing making it more important for us to put forth an all-round team effort every night.
Jacksonville State (6-8) opened the season with four straight wins but is 2-8 since that start, including a current five-match losing streak. Senior outside hitter Jen Meyer leads the Gamecocks entering conference play, averaging 2.37 kills per set (123 total kills), posting a .280 attack percentage and registering 38 blocks (0.73 blocks per set).
Tennessee Tech (2-10) snapped a nine-match losing streak with a victory against Alcorn State, Sunday. Junior outside hitter Natalie Penrod led the Golden Eagles with 2.54 kills per set but did not play last weekend at the Samford Intercollegiate. Senior middle blocker Kelsey Gray took over the team lead with 80 kills and is averaging just 2.16 kills per set.