Austin Peay Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – A postseason berth will be within reach as Austin Peay State University’s volleyball team begins a regular-season ending four-match road trip with a pair of Ohio Valley Conference contests, Friday-Saturday.The Lady Govs first meet Southeast Missouri in a 6:00pm, Friday contest followed by a 1:00pm, Saturday meeting with UT Martin.
Austin Peay (13-15, 7-5 OVC) enters the weekend with its magic number standing at two, meaning it can secure a berth into its third straight OVC tournament with a pair of wins or a combination of wins and SIUE losses totaling two.
In addition, the Lady Govs will seek to improve their seeding for that tournament. They currently hold the No. 4 seed with four matches remaining, but are within two matches of gaining the No. 2 seed.
“Earning a tournament berth is obviously one of our goals every year,” said Lady Govs head coach Taylor Mott. “We can’t look that far ahead though. There are four tough teams remaining on our schedule.”
The Lady Govs showed off their depth in a pair of wins last weekend. In Friday’s win against Tennessee Tech, five players recorded six or more kills despite losing sophomore outside hitter Sammie Ebright early to injury. The next day, six players posted six kills or more in a win against Jacksonville State. The two wins helped APSU climb from sixth place to a tie for fourth in the court of the weekend.
“I have to give a lot of credit to our setters,” said Mott. “During the homestand we changed up our offense and started using both our setters. Both Aubrey (Marsellis) and Cami (Fields) stepped into their new roles quickly. Cami brings so much toughness when she’s on the court; there isn’t a ball she won’t go after. Aubrey gives us a lot of versatility when we play her as both a setter and a front-row hitter.”
Austin Peay will seek complete its regular-season series sweep of both UT Martin and Southeast Missouri. The Lady Govs opened OVC play with a five set win against UT Martin, September 26th, with senior outside hitter Jada Stotts recording 22 kills in the win. APSU followed that with a four-set win against SEMO, September 27th, as Stotts added a 24-kill outing en route to OVC Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Lady Govs to Watch
Senior middle blocker Hillary Plybon brings a three-match streak of double-digit kills into this weekend’s action. She is averaging 3.07 kills per set and has posted an impressive .494 attack percentage in the four matches since her return from injury. Plybon also had four blocks in a win against SIUE, October 25th, and season-best four service aces in Saturday’s win against Jacksonville State.
Junior outside hitter Samantha Strother posted her best back-to-back outings this season in last weekend’s action. She had a 15-kill outing – one kill shy of her season high – against Tennessee Tech, Friday. Strother followed that with a nine-kill effort against Jacksonville State, Saturday. It is the first time this season she has 20 total kills in consecutive matches.
Scouting the Opposition
Southeast Missouri (10-16, 6-6 OVC)
The pair ranks second and third among OVC blockers and help the Redhawks rank first as a team, averaging 2.52 blocks per set in league action. The pair combined for six blocks each in the season’s first meeting with Austin Peay.
UT Martin (10-16, 3-9 OVC)
UT Martin brings a four-match losing streak into the weekend, but remains in the hunt for a spot in the OVC tournament. Four of the Skyhawks five losses have been five-set affairs, including a Friday loss at SIUE. Senior Emily Keaton leads UTM with 295 kills (3.07 per set) and recorded 26 kills in the season’s first meeting with the Lady Govs.
|OVC||7-5 (t4th)||6-6 (t6th)||3-9 (t10th)|
|*-per set, OVC matches only|