APSU Sports Information
Troy, AL – Junior Ashley Slay and Christina White combined for 22 kills but Austin Peay State University’s volleyball team dropped a four-set decision (16-25, 29-27, 20-25, 18-25) to defending Western Athletic Conference champion New Mexico State, Friday morning, in the opening contest of the Trojan Invitational at Trojan Arena.Austin Peay (2-3) got off to a slow start in a match that started at 9:30am, with the offense sputtering through the first set. New Mexico State opened with three consecutive points and did not relinquish that advantage.
The Govs closed within a point at 12-11, but the Aggies closed with 13 of the set’s final 18 points to claim the win.
New Mexico State (2-2) nearly repeated its first-set feat in the second frame, again taking an early four-point advantage.
The Aggies held that advantage through 10-6 before the Govs used a 6-2 run — spurred by a kill and a block by senior Sammie Ebright – to tie the set, 12-12.
Austin Peay built its own six-point advantage, 22-16, and got to set point first. However, NMSU used a kill and a block to force overtime. Five set points later, Slay handed APSU the set with a kill.
After the break, New Mexico State claimed a near wire-to-wire win in the third set with Austin Peay leading twice early. The fourth set saw the Aggies race out to an 8-1 lead and while the Govs fought back to within five points at 22-17, the hole was too deep to climb out of in a match-ending decision.
Slay finished with 11 kills and a .219 attack percentage, leading the Govs in both categories. White chipped in 11 kills and 10 digs for Austin Peay’s first double-double this season. The duo’s 22 kills accounted for nearly half of APSU’s 45-kill outing.
Sasha-Lee Thomas paced New Mexico State with 16 kills and a .667 attack percentage. Jordan Abalos added 14 kills and 15 digs.
The Aggies recorded 55 kills at a .288 attack percentage and had eight service aces.
Inside the Box Score
White Claims Govs First Double-Double
The season’s fifth match saw a Govs player post the first double-double of the year as Christina White posted an 11-kill, 10-dig performance against New Mexico State. It was the third double-digit kill outing for the Govs kills leader after five matches.
Slay Posts Another Block Handful
Three days after a five-block outing against nationally-ranked Western Kentucky, Slay proved the effort wasn’t an outlier with a five-block outing against the defending WAC champion Aggies. Her biggest block came in the second set when she joined up with Kaitlyn Teeter for a stop that tie the set at 12-12 en route to the overtime win.
Ebright Hits Season Best Mark
Playing on the right side, senior Sammie Ebright got off to a big start with five kills in the opening two sets. However, as the Govs fought to contain the NMSU serving game, Ebright saw her production limited in the final two sets. Still, she posted a season-best eight kills against the Aggies.
Austin Peay returns to action when it meets Southern in the Friday’s final match of the Trojan Invitational, scheduled to start at 5:00pm.