APSU Sports Information
Los Angeles, CA – Senior Ashley Slay posted five blocks, setting an Austin Peay State University volleyball tournament and career record, but it wasn’t enough in a three-set loss (25-10, 25-13, 25-15) to No. 17 UCLA in the NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship’s first round at Pauley Pavilion.
Austin Peay (30-6), making its second-ever NCAA tournament appearance, could not solve the UCLA offense which scored eight straight points to open the match en route to the first set win.
The Governors started to find solutions in the second set with Slay involved in each of the Govs three blocks in the frame.
UCLA (20-10) found the going tougher to start the third set as Austin Peay forced five ties and two lead changes in the first 22 points.
Slay and junior Logan Carger combined on a block to give the Govs their first lead of the match, 10-9, and two points later Slay put down a kill for an 11-10 lead.
However, a 9-0 UCLA run – Kyra Rogers with three kills and Reily Buechler with five service aces – turned the tide for good.
Slay finished with five blocks, the most by a Govs player in the NCAA tournament and set the program record for career blocks in her final outing as a Governor. Freshman Brooke Moore sophomore Jenna Panning each had five kills to pace the offense.
Buechler scored 13 kills and seven service aces to lead UCLA’s offense which finished with 44 kills.
With the win, the Bruins advance to a 9:00pm (CT), Saturday second round contest where it will face Cal Poly, a three-set winner against Denver in the evening’s first match.
Set by Set
SET 1 | Bruins 25-10
The Bruins opened the match with an 8-0 run, scoring six kills in the opening burst. Austin Peay would score back-to-back points on a Slay kill and Ginny Gerig‘s ace. The Govs would post three straight points near the end of the set but could not recover from the early deficit in a 25-10 loss.
SET 2 | Bruins 25-13
The Govs got their back-to-back points earlier in the second thanks to a UCLA service error and Jenna Panning‘s first kill of the night, narrowing the deficit to 3-2.
But the Bruins scored the next nine points to build a 10-point lead, 12-2. Austin Peay would march back late with a 4-0 run courtesy back-to-back blocks and another Panning kill, but UCLA closed the set with three straight points to win 25-13.
SET 3 | Bruins: 25-15
Austin Peay came out of the break and forced five ties and two lead changes in the early going. A 4-1 Austin Peay run saw the Govs grab the lead twice – after a block by Carger and Slay for 10-9 and two points later on a Slay kill for an 11-10 lead.
But UCLA again pieced together a big run, this time a 9-0 burst started by three straight kills by Kyra Rogers and closed by five straight aces for a 20-11 lead that turned the tide en route to the 25-15 match-clinching win.
It also made her the Govs career blocks leader, finishing with 349 stops and breaking the record held since 1999 by Kim Smith.
Slay also becomes the second Govs blocker with back-to-back 100-block seasons.
Stucker Marches Past 1500
Kristen Stucker‘s 19-assist night helped her become the first Govs setter with 1,500 assists in a season, finishing 2017 with 1,508 assists. She will enter her senior year with 3,423 assists – 1,462 shy of the Govs career record.