APSU Sports Information Office
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University’s volleyball team will open Ohio Valley Conference play at home when it hosts UT Martin and Southeast Missouri, Friday and Saturday, at the Dunn Center.
Austin Peay (6-10) capped the nonconference portion of its schedule with an impressive stay at the DISH Lady Vol Classic, last weekend.The Lady Govs opened the tournament with its first-ever victory against Tennessee then downed Montana State and Mercer before falling to eventual tourney champion Memphis.
Senior outside hitter Jada Stotts earned all-tournament honors as well as both Ohio Valley Conference and Tennessee Sports Writers Association weekly honors for her performance in Knoxville. She posted 64 kills at an impressive .315 attack percentage to lead the Lady Govs. Stotts enters the OVC-opening weekend with 995 career kills, just five shy of becoming the 13th APSU hitter to record 1,000 kills.
Junior libero April Adams was likely the Lady Govs unsung hero in Knoxville. She was charged with just one reception error during the entire tournament and led Austin Peay with 59 digs (4.21 per set). Junior setter Aubrey Marsellis benefited from the Lady Govs improved passing, earning all-tournament honors after recording 150 assists (10.71 apg), 17 kills and 12 blocks.
“Jada really stepped up in Knoxville,” said Lady Govs head coach Taylor Mott. “She had one of those performances you hope for on a big stage. I believe she’ll be the first to tell you she couldn’t have done it on her own. April and Aubrey’s performances set the tone for the weekend, when you’re passing the ball well it makes it easy to run the offense.”
“Defending your home court is so important in conference play,” said Mott. “The last two season’s we have done a good job, but we have given away matches that have come back to haunt us. We have to come out ready to play every conference team like we’re facing Tennessee again. If we put that energy and effort on court every night, we will be a tough team to beat.”
Scouting the Opposition
UT Martin (7-7): The Skyhawks posted a 2-1 record at Chattanooga’s Scenic City Invitational, last weekend. That record included a three-set victory against host Chattanooga, a team that defeated Austin Peay in four sets, September 16th, in Clarksville.
Southeast Missouri (4-9): The Redhawks bring a three-match losing streak into their OVC opening weekend, which begins with a trip to Murray State, Friday, before visiting Austin Peay. Southeast Missouri opened its season with a four-set win against Memphis, the lone common opponent it shares with Austin Peay.
Last week, the Redhawks lost to both UMKC and Southern Illinois. Senior Andrea Baylin posted a career-high 27 kills in the loss to Southern Illinois and ranks eighth among OVC hitters with 2.94 kills per set (144 total kills) this season.