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HomeSports2017-18 Top-10 -- No. 2: APSU Volleyball's special season

2017-18 Top-10 — No. 2: APSU Volleyball’s special season

APSU Sports Information

APSU Women's VolleyballClarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) volleyball program had been trending upward for several seasons under the direction of head coach Taylor Mott, transforming into a perennial contender with a deep well of talent to draw from.  

But from the moment the Govs toppled 19th-ranked Missouri in an epic five-setter in the season’s third match, even the most casual observer could see the 2017 campaign was going to be special.

 2017 OVC Champion Austin Peay Volleyball team.
2017 OVC Champion Austin Peay Volleyball team.

How special? Try “30 wins, sweeping the Ohio Valley Conference regular season and tournament titles and capping the season in the NCAA Tournament against UCLA” kind of special.

The swagger displayed by the dancing, chanting band of talents on this roster was one-of-a-kind, personified by OVC Player of the Year Ashley Slay. The Nashville native wrapped up her Hall of Fame-worthy career with 475 kills and 104 blocks—the second player in school history to record 100 or more blocks in a season twice—and paced an offense that hit .236 on the season, the second-best mark in school history.

The kill machines like Slay, Christina White and Brooke Moore—the only freshman in league history to earn OVC Tournament MVP honors—were assisted by the precision setting of Kristen Stucker, again the league Setter of the Year and a mortal lock to end her Austin Peay career as the best setter in school history.

The Johnston, Iowa native set a school record with 1,508 assists as the quarterback to one of the most potent offenses the OVC has ever seen. And she did all that while maintaining a 4.0 grade-point average, earning OVC Scholar-Athlete and CoSIDA Academic All-American honors.

Mott, the architect of all this, hit milestones with her 400th career victory in the October 13th contest against Tennessee Tech and her 100th victory at Austin Peay two weeks later against Eastern Illinois. The 30 wins—including an 11-match streak that propelled the Govs to the top of the league—constituted a program record and led to her easily earning her first OVC Coach of the Year honor.

After a five-set thriller to win the OVC tournament title on their home court, the Govs got a taste of the postseason at UCLA. With Stucker, Moore and other big pieces back in the fold next year, the sky remains the limit for the Govs.

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