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APSU Lady Govs Volleyball hits the road against Southeast Missouri, UT Martin this weekend

Austin Peay Sports Information

Austin Peay State University Lady Govs - APSUClarksville, 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.

Austin Peay Women's Volleyball on the road this weekend seeking Tournament berth. (APSU Sports Information)
Austin Peay Women’s Volleyball on the road this weekend seeking Tournament berth. (APSU Sports Information)

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.

APSU's Sammie Ebright“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.

APSU's Jada Stotts“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

APSU's Hillary PlybonSenior 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)

Southeast Missouri split a pair five-set matches last weekend, winning at Eastern Illinois before falling at a surging SIUE. The Redhawks are 4-3 at Houck Fieldhouse this season, including a 4-1 mark in OVC play. Southeast Missouri boasts the OVC’s top blocking duo in junior Taylor Masterson (1.17 blocks per set) and freshman Nzingha Clarke (1.16 blocks per set).

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.

Team Comoparison
TEAM APSU SEMO UTM
RECORD 13-15 10-16 10-16
OVC 7-5 (t4th) 6-6 (t6th) 3-9 (t10th)
KILLS* 13.58 11.92 12.33
PCT. .214 .216 .187
ACES* 1.38 0.98 1.23
DIGS* 17.31 15.31 14.83
BLOCKS* 1.88 2.52 1.96
*-per set, OVC matches only
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