APSU Sports Information Office
Clarksville, TN – Off to a 2-0 start in Ohio Valley Conference play for the first time since 2010, Austin Peay State University’s volleyball team will square off against fellow league unbeaten Murray State in a 7:00pm, Tuesday contest at the Dunn Center.Austin Peay (8-10, 2-0 OVC) opened OVC play with a five-set victory against UT Martin, Friday, and a four-set win against Southeast Missouri, Saturday. The Lady Govs enter this week’s action with five wins in their last six matches
Senior outside hitter Jada Stotts posted back-to-back 20-kill, 20-dig performances last weekend. She joins Dodi Szymska (2007) and Sarah Schramka (2004) as the only hitters since 1998 to record back-to-back 20-20 efforts.
While Stotts dominated the spotlight during the OVC’s opening weekend, she wasn’t the only Lady Govs player to get off to a quick start. Sophomore outside hitter Sammie Ebright put together a pair of strong performances, finishing the weekend with 26 kills (2.89 per set) and a .333 attack percentage. Junior setter Aubrey Marsellis marshalled the Lady Govs offense to a .253 team attack percentage while posting 101 assists (11.22 per set).
“I was pleased with our performance this weekend,” said Lady Govs head coach Taylor Mott. “You can’t say enough about what Jada did last weekend, it was just phenomenal. But I also believe everyone that stepped on to the court gave us their best effort and that’s encouraging as we enter league play.”
However, there were concerns in the Lady Govs OVC start. Austin Peay suffered through bouts of inconsistency in both matches, allowing UT Martin to rally from an 0-2 deficit to tie the match and suffering through a lackluster second set (losing 25-15) against Southeast Missouri.
“We weren’t perfect this weekend by any stretch,” said Mott. “We still had moments where our energy wasn’t where it needed to be and we didn’t put UT Martin away when we should have. We also have to keep working on our defense. But all in all, we did what we needed to get a pair of wins. Now we have to focus on Murray State, which is playing good volleyball right now.”
- Stotts needs 22 kills to pass Kirstin Distler (1,062 kills, 2006-09) for 10th on the APSU kills list.
- Stotts needs 15 digs to become the 17th APSU player to record 1,000 digs. Upon reaching that milestone she would become only the seventh Lady Govs player to record both 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs during their career – a rare “Double Grand” club member.
Scouting Murray State
Picked ninth in the league’s preseason poll, the Racers boast the OVC’s top offense in both kills (13.18 per set) and attack percentage (.253).
Individually, junior Taylor Olden (fifth, 3.18 kills per set) and Kristen Besselsen (ninth, 2.97 kills per set) are each ranked among the league’s top 10 in kills. The Racers also have four hitters, led by junior Alyssa Lelm’s .339 attack percentage, ranked among the league’s top 10 in attack percentage.