APSU Sports Information
Jacksonville, AL – A closely-fought match slipped through the Austin Peay State University volleyball team’s grasp in a five-set (25-23, 24-26, 25-18, 16-25, 13-15) loss to Jacksonville State, Saturday night, at Pete Mathews Coliseum.Austin Peay (6-21, 1-11 OVC) will look back and wonder how the fifth set got away.
The Lady Govs held a three-point, 8-5, advantage as the teams changed sides of the court. Jacksonville State cut the deficit to one point, 9-8, thanks to back-to-back points but could not tie the set.
Instead the teams traded the next seven points, leaving Austin Peay holding a 13-11 lead after a Samantha Strother kill. But that was the last point APSU would score. Jacksonville State closed the match with a 4-0 run: a Charis Ludtke kill, an APSU attack error, a Mackenzie Rombach block and a Ludtke service ace.
The Lady Govs and Jacksonville State split the first four sets, each winning in a different fashion. The Lady Govs won a see-saw first set by using a 7-3 run to build a 22-18 advantage then fending off a late JSU charge to win 25-23. Austin Peay’s third set win saw it use an 11-3 run to break the set open, 13-5, and never look back in a 25-18 victory.
Jacksonville State (13-18, 3-9 OVC) won the second set in overtime as Austin Peay fended off a set-point opportunity at 24-23 thanks to a Strother kill. Austin Peay could not string together consecutive points but JSU could thanks to an Allyson Zuhlke kill and a Ludtke block to win, 26-24.
Trailing 2-1 in the match, the Gamecocks then threatened to run away with the fourth set. Jacksonville State scored six straight points to open up a 14-6 advantage. The JSU lead would reach 11 points, 20-9, before Austin Peay closed back to within seven points, 22-14. That was as close as the Lady Govs would get with JSU winning 25-16 to force the fifth set.
Zuhlke led Jacksonville State with a match-best 23 kills at a .340 attack percentage. Emily Rutherford and Rombach each added 11 kills.
Austin Peay closes out its five-match road trip with a 6:00pm, Tuesday nonconference tilt at Alabama A&M. The Lady Govs then return home to start a regular-season ending four-match homestand with a 7:00pm, Friday OVC contest against Southeast Missouri.