Clarksville, TN – After a season-opening 16-match road trip, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) volleyball team opens the Dunn Center doors for a three-match Ohio Valley Conference homestand, beginning Friday.
First up, is a 6:00pm, Friday, October 4th contest against Southeast Missouri that will serve as the Govs 2019 home opener. Austin Peay then hosts UT Martin in a 2:00pm, Saturday contest.
Following that weekend pair, Austin Peay State University will host Murray State in a 6:00pm, Wednesday affair that is the opening contest in the 2019-20 First Financial Battle of the Border.
Austin Peay opened Ohio Valley Conference play last weekend with a pair of victories, downing SIU Edwardsville and Eastern Illinois. The Govs, Murray State and Morehead State are the only programs to enter this weekend’s play without an OVC loss.
From The Serve
Junior Brooke Moore began OVC play with 27 kills (3.86 per set) during the Govs’ Illinois swing, and is ranked seventh among league hitters in league play. She had 17 kills in the Govs sweep of Eastern Illinois.
Junior Chloe Stitt came out firing in the Govs win against SIUE. She amassed 14 kills in the final two sets while posting a .571 attack percentage to aid the Govs on the way to their four set victory.
Senior Ginny Gerig Busse also enjoyed the opening OVC weekend, posting 48 digs (6.86/set) while in Illinois. She posted 20-plus digs in both matches.
Junior setter Caroline Waite nearly averaged 10 assists per set in Illinois, ultimately recording 68 assists (9.71/set) which places her fifth among OVC setters.
The Govs victory against Texas Tech, Sept. 7, was their fourth win against a Power Five opponent during head coach Taylor Mott‘s tenure. It is the third consecutive year Austin Peay has downed a Power Five foe.
Austin Peay played its first 16 contests on the road, the longest road trip in program history. The Govs covered a total of 4,656 miles before their home opener, October 4th, against Southeast Missouri.
The Govs were picked to finish second in the OVC Preseason Predicted Order of Finish with a pair of Governors named to the 14-woman Preseason All-OVC Team.
While Austin Peay is the back-to-back defending Ohio Valley Conference champion, it will have a largely new look in 2019 as it lost its top outside hitter, primary setter and top middle blocker to graduation.
Scanning The Homestand
|Southeast Missouri 9-7 (1-1 OVC)
Cape Girardeau, MO
|UT Martin 5-11 (1-1 OVC)
|Murray State 8-6 (2-0 OVC)
|Southeast Missouri saw a five-match win streak halted by a loss at Tennessee Tech, Saturday.
The Redhawks five-match win streak included an OVC-opening win against UT Martin and wins at both Saint Louis and Memphis.
SEMO is ranked among the OVC Top 3 in both blocks (3rd, 2.21/set) and service aces (2nd, 1.76/set).
Three Redhawks are ranked among the league’s individual Top 10, including junior Laney Malloy’s league-best 0.47 aces/set. On the front row, both freshman Talia Gouard (1.23/set) and senior Krista Berns (1.00/set) are averaging a block per set.
|UT Martin (5-11, 1-1) has won two of its last three entering the weekend to snap a seven-match losing streak.
After falling to SEMO in their OVC opener, the Skyhawks stunned Jacksonville State on the road.
UTM boasts the league’s top blocker in junior Justin Walker, who is averaging 1.28 blocks per set (77 blocks/60 sets). Her performance leads a Skyhawks defense ranked fourth in blocks (2.15/set).
|Murray State (8-6, 2-0) swept both legs of the Illinois swing to open league play undefeated.
Like Austin Peay, the Racers will open their home schedule this weekend with matches against UTM and SEMO.
Senior Rachel Giustino has been the dominant offensive force in the OVC this season, leading the league with 5.19 kills per set – sixth among all Division I hitters. She paces a MSU offense ranked third among OVC teams in kills (13.36/set). .