APSU Sports Information
Murray, KY – Sophomore Kristen Stucker was named the Ohio Valley Conference’s 2016 Setter of the Year, highlighting Austin Peay State University’s postseason award winners announced during the league’s volleyball award banquet, Wednesday night.Stucker, who becomes the first Govs player to win the Setter of the Year Award, also was a first-team All-OVC selection.
Junior Ashley Slay joined her on the league’s 14-member first-team squad.
It is the first time since 2011 Austin Peay’s volleyball team has placed two members on the league’s first team list. Stucker also is the first Govs player to receive one of the league’s top honors since 2009 when Stephanie Champine was named the league’s Player of the Year.
Stucker, of Johnston, Iowa, enjoyed an impressive sophomore campaign while leading the Govs to the fourth most improved record among all Division I programs through last week’s matches. The four-time adidas® OVC Setter of the Week, she strung together a stretch of three consecutive awards in October.
“It has been exciting to see Kristen mature as a setter this season,” said Governors head coach Taylor Mott. “While she always has had superior athletic ability, she has taken her game to the next level thanks to a better understanding of how to run our offense. We can’t wait to see the next step in her evolution at setter.”
Leading the OVC’s second-ranked offense, Stucker finished the OVC campaign with 619 assists (10.86 per set), third among OVC setters, but impressed with her solid all around play. Stucker also had 159 digs (2.79 per set), 30 kills and 20 blocks as she played all 57 sets for the Govs in OVC action.
Slay, of Nashville, Tennessee, made huge strides in her junior season – her first as the focal point of the Govs offense. The middle blocker earned AVCA National Player of the Week honors, October 10th, and was twice named adidas® OVC Offensive Player of the Week during the season.
“We are pleased Ashley was recognized by the league for her play this season,” said Mott. “Not only has she played at a high level all season but she has been a steady and consistent piece of our offense. Ashley brings energy every time she steps on the court and her improvement has been a huge piece in our team’s improvement.”
One of the league’s top hitters, Slay ended OVC play ranked second among league hitters in attack percentage (.315) and was ranked fifth in the league in kills (3.65 per set). She was the only OVC hitter to rank among the league’s Top 10 in both categories in league play. After posting just 89 kills in OVC play as a sophomore, Slay more than doubled her output in 2016, finishing with 208 kills.
The third-seeded Governors open the OVC Volleyball Championship with its 11:30am, Thursday contest against No. 6 seed Tennessee State. That contest can be seen on the OVC Digital Network, free on any mobile device or computer and also on the Roku streaming player.