APSU Sports Information
Charleston, IL – Senior Ashley Slay and redshirt junior Christina White combined for 22 kills as Austin Peay State University’s volleyball team handed head coach Taylor Mott her 100th APSU victory in a three-set sweep (25-19, 25-23, 25-14) of Eastern Illinois, Friday, at Lantz Arena.
Austin Peay (22-4, 10-1 OVC) needed to fend off a Panthers’ challenge in the second set.
The Governors got to set point in the second, 24-21, thanks to a junior Logan Carger kill.
But Eastern Illinois got back-to-back kills from Laurel Bailey to stave off set point. Governors’ freshman Brooke Moore ended the frame with a kill.
Eastern Illinois (12-11, 6-5 OVC) threw its best shots at the Govs in the first and second sets, but could not make it pay off.
Austin Peay’s defense flexed its advantage in the third set with 21 digs and three blocks to limit the Panthers to a negative-.075 attack percentage to clinch the match.
Slay led the Govs with 12 kills and two blocks while White added 10 kills, two aces and two blocks. Their 22 kills were the bulk of the Govs 41-kill outing.
Maria Brown paced Eastern Illinois with 10 kills. The Panthers were credited with 35 kills but held to a .124 attack percentage.
Set by Set
SET 1 | GOVS 25-19: Eastern Illinois took its lone lead of the set on an Austin Peay error, 3-2. But White delivered back-to-back kills to give the Govs a 4-3 advantage. Austin Peay nursed its small advantage until late in the set, but it closed the frame with a 10-5 run to secure the set. Slay led APSU with six kills on 10 errorless attacks (.600 attack percentage) in the set as Austin Peay opened with 14 kills and a .375 attack percentage.
SET 2 | GOVS 25-23: The second set was a battle from wire-to-wire with four lead changes and seven ties. The Panthers never led by more than two points, 11-9, a lead the Govs erased with a 4-0 run.
Austin Peay would build a four-point lead, 18-14, on another 3-0 run punctuated by back-to-back kills from junior Kaylee Taff. That lead would stick though the Govs had to fend off a late EIU burst, freshman Brooke Moore supplying the finishing kill. Slay again paced the Govs with five kills but was one of six Govs to record a kill in a 17-kill effort.
SET 3 | GOVS 25-14: Austin Peay broke the third set open with a 7-1 run that turned a 4-4 tie into an 11-5 lead. Eastern Illinois tried responded with a 4-0 burst, but the Govs claimed eight of the next nine points to build a comfortable 22-12 advantage en route to the win. White posted six of the Govs 10 kills in the set.
Austin Peay head coach Taylor Mott became the second head coach to claim 100 wins at Austin Peay, joining former head coach Cheryl Holt. It also was Mott’s 404th career victory.
STUCKER 3 SHY.
Junior setter Kristen Stucker‘s 32-assist night moved her a stone’s throw away from 3,000 career assists.
She enters tomorrow’s contest at SIU Edwardsville with 2,997 career helpers, three more would make her the fifth Govs setter to post 3,000 assists.
Now with 327 career blocks, Slay sets her sights on the record of 348 career blocks held by Kim Smith (1996-99).
MAGIC NUMER = 5.
APSU’s victory clinched it a spot in the OVC Volleyball Championship. More importantly, the win reduced APSU’s magic number for the OVC title to five against SIUE – Saturday’s opponent.
Any combination of APSU wins and SIUE losses totaling five in the final five matches would give the Govs the regular-season title outright and the right to host the OVC Volleyball Championship.
Next Up for APSU Volleyball
Austin Peay now makes the overnight trip for a pivotal 2:00pm, Saturday OVC contest at SIU Edwardsville. The Govs hold a one-game advantage in the OVC standings ahead of second-place SIUE.