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APSU Lady Govs Volleyball finishes preconference play at Memphis’ Tiger Invitational

 

Austin Peay Sports Information

Austin Peay State University Lady Govs - APSUMemphis, TN – Austin Peay State University’s volleyball team will finish up the preconference portion of its schedule, Friday-Saturday, at the Tiger Invitational hosted by Memphis.

The Lady Govs will meet the hosts in a 7:00pm, Friday contest.

Austin Peay Women's Volleyball. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Women’s Volleyball. (APSU Sports Information)

Saturday’s action begins with a noon contest against Mississippi State followed by a 5:00pm meeting with Southern Miss.

Austin Peay (4-8) has been alternating pairs of wins with pairs of losses since its September 4th win against Savannah State. The Lady Govs enter their final preconference tests on a continuing mission to seek consistency. APSU’s offense has posted a .170 attack percentage through three full weeks, but it has needed to hit better than .290 in three of its four wins this season.

“We keep working on what we’re doing on our side of the net,” said Lady Govs head coach Taylor Mott. “We have seen different parts of our game show up at different times, but never all at once. And that’s what we have to work on, bringing our whole game to the court at one time.”

The Lady Govs have been a hard team to figure out and likely have been causing their opponents headaches as well. Senior Aubrey Marsellis became the fifth different hitter to lead the team in kills this season with her career-high 20 kills against North Dakota, Wednesday. Senior Samantha Strother (four times), sophomore Ashley Slay (five) and freshmen Kaylee Taff (once) and Cecily Gable (once) also have been at the top of the kills list this season.

“It’s an asset knowing we don’t have to rely on one person to get the job done in a match,” said Mott. “If an opponent comes in with the mindset they have to stop one hitter, I feel confident someone else will step up. That’s a quality that will benefit us in conference play.”

Scouting The Opposition

Memphis (7-3)
The host Tigers return to action a week after hosting the Memphis Invitational and posting a 3-1 record with wins against Tennessee Tech, Little Rock and Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Memphis’ three losses this season have come at the hands of Auburn, Georgia and Belmont.

Junior outside hitter Caitlyn Lily has been Memphis’ go-to hitter through three weeks, posting 116 kills (3.41 per set) and a .265 attack percentage. However, the Tigers top four hitters are each averaging more than 2.5 kills per set with the team setting a torrid 13.09 kill per set rate.

Mississippi State (7-3)
The Bulldogs also have not played since last weekend when they posted a 1-2 record at the Golden Dome Invitational. MSU defeated Eastern Kentucky in that tournament after falling to Penn State and host Notre Dame.

Junior outside hitter Evie Grace Singleton sets the pace for the Mississippi State offense, averaging 3.46 kills per set – one of four hitters averaging more than 2.0 kills per set. The MSU block has been dangerous this season, averaging 2.22 blocks per set and has helped limit opponents to just 9.88 kills per set.

Southern Miss (12-1)
Southern Miss opened 2015 with 10 consecutive victories before falling at Mississippi, Friday. The Golden Eagles have rebounded with victories against Buffalo and New Orleans headed into this weekend’s action.

USM is another big blocking squad, averaging 2.56 blocks per set, senior middle blocker Elise Ames leading the effort with 59 blocks (1.48 per set). Offensively, junior outside hitter Stephany Purdue is one of Division I’s top hitters, averaging 4.33 kills per set while posting a .228 attack percentage.

Series Histories

Memphis: The Lady Govs and Tigers will meet for the fourth consecutive season in a series Memphis leads 12-2. Austin Peay won the 2012 meeting between the two squads but has lost in four sets each of the last two seasons.

Mississippi State: Saturday’s meeting will be the fifth all-time between Mississippi State and Austin Peay, but first since 2010. The Bulldogs have won the last two meetings in the series (2007 and 2010), both in three sets. Austin Peay’s last victory against MSU came in 2003.

Southern Miss: Austin Peay and Southern Miss will meet for the first time since 2003. The Lady Govs and Golden Eagles have split the previous two meetings in the series, both on neutral courts.

Catch It Live

Fans can follow this weekend’s matches at the Tiger Invitational via live statistics at www.GoTigersGo.com . Austin Peay’s match against host Memphis can be seen on the Memphis Digital Network .

Video

After taking All-Tournament honors last weekend in Chattanooga, freshman Kaylee Taff and the Lady Govs travel to Memphis this weekend.


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