APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – Senior Ashley Slay finished with 19 kills and sophomore libero Ginny Gerig notched a season-best 28 digs but Austin Peay State University’s volleyball team dropped a four-set decision (19-25, 23-25, 28-26, 12-25) to Northern Iowa, Sunday afternoon in the final match of the Culvers Governors Challenge at the Dunn Center.
Slay, who nearly notched her third straight 20- kill performance against the Panthers, earned all-tournament honors after posting 69 kills (4.31 per set), second-most among hitters in the tournament. Gerig also earned all-tournament recognition after posting a tournament best 80 digs (5.00 per set).
In a matchup of the tournament’s only two unbeaten teams entering the day, Austin Peay (3-1) broke out to big leads in each of the first three sets. Northern Iowa (3-0) would file a response in each case and slipped past the Govs in the first two sets. However, Austin Peay fended off the challenge en route to winning the third set. The Panthers, who advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season, led the final set wire-to-wire.
Slay’s 19-kill outing saw her open the match with seven kills in the first set and finish the match with a .308 attack percentage and three blocks. Gerig added a kill and two assists to her 28-dig performance.
UNI’s Karlie Taylor earned all-tournament honors after a 21-kill, 14-dig performance against the Govs. Thomas was named the tournament’s “Most Valuable Player” after a 16-kill, six block outing in Sunday’s finale.
Austin Peay now prepares to start a nine-match road trip, which begins with the UAB Invitational, September 1st-2nd. The Govs will face Georgia State, host UAB and Western Illinois in the round-robin event.
Taylor Mott Quotably
The Weekend. “I felt like we spent a lot of time on serving being aggressive on serving and service receive and I believe that kept us in these matches all weekend. When you can serve receive as well as we did this weekend your hitters can do all kinds of different things. Our success all weekend was a result of our serving and passing.”
Those All-Tourney Picks. “Ashley is always going to be a big gun for us, she gets a lot of swings and she’s very powerful and I’m glad the coaches saw that. I was also happy to see Ginny get recognition, I thought she played great defense and was really steady in serve receive.”
Where The Govs Go From Here. “Every match we talk about it being a learning experience. I think today, even though we didn’t play well. When we are playing teams like Northern Iowa who are so good defensively and in serve receive we can’t get frustrated. I felt today we got frustrated when we couldn’t score quickly or ace them. So it was that learning piece of what it looks like when we play teams like this. We know going forward we have to be patient but aggressive and persistent.”
Culvers Governors Challenge Final Standings. Northern Iowa (3-0), Austin Peay (3-1), UMKC (2-1), Missouri (2-2), Marshall (0-3), Middle Tennessee (0-3).
Stucker Leads Setters. Joining Gerig as a tourney leader was Govs setter Kristen Stucker who posted a tourney best 185 assists, finishing second in assists average (11.56) only to UNI’s Heather Hook.
White Cleans Up. Christina White also put together a strong showing during the tournament with 48 kills (3.00 per set), and she did it at an impressive .208 attack percentage… both numbers topping her averages from last season.
Aces in Spades. Austin Peay rolled up an incredible 31 service aces in the opening weekend, averaging 1.94 aces per set. That included double-digit ace totals in wins against Marshall (12) and Missouri (14). White and freshman Brooke Moore each had seven service aces while Gerig chipped in another six aces. Six Governors posted multiple service aces over the weekend.
Taff on the Block. Kaylee Taff led the way on the front row, putting a hand on 11 blocks in her 14 sets, averaging 0.79 per set. The Govs notched 24 blocks on the weekend, averaging 1.50 per set.