APSU Sports Information
Jacksonville, FL – Friday afternoon in the opening match of the Dolphin Invitational, senior Ashley Slay powered her way to a 19-kill performance, leading Austin Peay State University’s volleyball team to a four-set victory (21-25, 25-16, 26-24, 25-23) against South Florida at UNF Arena.
Austin Peay (9-2) had to recover from a slow start to the match which allowed USF to play a nip-and-tuck first-set affair.
Late in the first, the Governors had to recover from a three-point deficit to tie the set at 20-20.
However, the Bulls did not allow the Govs to take the lead and scored four of the final five points to grab a 25-21 win.
The Governors roared back in the second set racing out to a 17-7 lead with Slay providing five kills in the opening burst.
Both teams endured a sloppy outing in the third set with USF committing eight attack errors to the Governors 11 miscues. The Bulls faced a quintuple set point with the Govs up 24-19 in the third, but fought all the way back with a kill, an ace, a block and two APSU errors.
Redshirt junior Christina White ended the USF five-point burst with a kill and the Bulls attack sailed their final attack long to give the Govs a 26-24 win.
Austin Peay controlled the bulk of the fourth set and reached a familiar spot in the proceedings with quadruple match point, 24-20.
Again, South Florida began fighting back with a pair of kills and an APSU attack error closing the deficit to one point, 24-23. This time junior Kaylee Taff ended the Bulls charge with a kill to hand the Govs the match.
Slay’s 19 kills and .405 attack percentage paced the Govs in a 60-kill outing and she did not commit an attack error until midway through the third set, recording 15 kills in that stretch. White added 13 kills and freshman Brooke Moore chipped in 12 kills.
Julita Kurdziuk had 13 kills to lead USF, which was held to 45 kills in the loss. The Bulls did their damage at the net, posting a 13-6 advantage against APSU. Clara Payne led the USF defense with eight blocks.
Slay Leaps Toward 1,000
Slay’s 19-kill outing (4.75 kills per set) pushed her to the brink of joining Austin Peay’s 1,000-kill club. She ended the day with 991 career kills, moving into 14th on the Govs career kills list.
Moore Starts Hot
The Govs cold start did not affect Slay or freshman Brooke Moore, who both had five kills in the Govs opening set loss. Moore then rattled off three kills in an errorless second set. It was her third consecutive double-digit kill outing.
O’Reilly Comes Up Big
Pressed into service as the Govs libero, senior Allie O’Reilly turned in a career-high 24 digs and was credited with five assists. It is the second consecutive week O’Reilly has set her career high in digs.
Next Up for APSU Volleyball
Austin Peay resumes play in the Dolphin Invitational when it meets Presbyterian at 9:00am (CT), Saturday.