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Instant Peay Play: APSU Volleyball Govs surging as start of OVC schedule looms

Instant Peay Play - APSU SportsClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University’s volleyball team should be riding a swell of confidence this week, as they prepare for the beginning of the Ohio Valley Conference part of their schedule this coming weekend, after winning The Citadel Bulldog Invitational.

The Governors went 4-0 at the invitational – winning 12 of 13 sets played overall — picking up wins over The Citadel, Charleston Southern, Elon and Savannah State.

It is the best in-season tournament finish for APSU since the Govs took second place at the University of Tennessee Invitational – with a 3-1 mark — back on September 18th-20th, 2014.

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

The tournament title is also the first in-season championship for the Governors since winning back-to-back tournament during the 2010 season, with victories at the East Tennessee State University Buccaneer Classic (September 10th-11th) and the IUPUI Hampton Inn Invitational (September 4th-5th).

Along with that, the four-game win streak is the first for Austin Peay since the Govs opened OVC play with four straight wins to start the 2014 conference schedule, with wins over Tennessee Martin, Southeast Missouri, Murray State and Morehead State – between September 26th and October 4th that year.

Finally, the four wins this past weekend give the Govs an overall 9-6 win-loss mark in their pre-OVC schedule, the first time since the 2010 season –when they went 9-1 — where they enter conference play with a winning record.

There are several reasons for the Govs resurgence this fall, after falling short of making the postseason in 2015, with both their offense and defense playing at a much more consistent level match-in and match-out.

On offense, the Govs have four different players (Ashley Slay, Kaitlyn Teeter, Cecily Gable and Kaylee Taff) who are averaging over 2.2 kills per set, while another two players (Sammie Ebright and Christina White) averaging over 1.6 kills per match.

That balance makes it hard for opponents to key on any one Austin Peay player and has allowed the Govs attack percentage improve to .208 this season, compared to just .164 in 2015 – an improvement of .044.

Defensively, Austin Peay has seen both their blocks per game and digs per game see increases this season, which has curtailed their rivals attack, with opponents averaging two less attacks per set this season and two fewer kills per set – which in turn has led their opponents attack percentage drop from .232 in 2015 to .195 so far this season – a 16 percent improvement from last year.

Austin Peay will host Southeast Missouri and Tennessee Martin at the Dunn Center on September 23rd and September 24th in their conference-opening weekend.

Chris Austin
Chris Austinhttp://www.clarksvillesportsnetwork.com
Chris Austin is a graduate of Clarksville High School and Austin Peay State University. Chris is a former Head Softball Coach for APSU, and assistant basketball coach for CHS. Chris has worked at the Leaf-Chronicle, and WJZM News/Talk/Sports radio. Has also worked at the Sports Information Department at APSU, and has covered championship events for the Ohio Valley Conference and NCAA. Chris is an avid sports fan and can be found at most Austin Peay State University sports events.
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