Clarksville, TN – After a clean sweep in two matches at Tennessee State last week, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) volleyball team hosts Belmont in a two-match Ohio Valley Conference series kicking off 6:00pm Friday with a Red Out at the Winfield Dunn Center.
The weekend features the 27th and 28th meetings between the two Volunteer State rivals who have each won 13 matches in a series that dates back to 1998. Austin Peay State University is 8-4 all-time at home against the Bruins and have won their last two matches at the Dunn.
The Govs’ offense is firing at a conference-best .234 hitting percentage through eight weeks and has been led by the dynamic duo of Brooke Moore and Mikayla Powell.
Moore leads APSU in kills (277), service aces (26), and digs (238) and ranks top-10 in the OVC each category. The Louisville native enters Friday’s match 15 kills behind Becky Sowinski (1997-00) for third all-time in kills and is 23 kills behind Amy Walk (2000-03) for second.
Mikayla Powell paced the Govs in their three wins last week with 41 kills (3.73/set) and a .430 attack percentage and became the second player in program history to repeat as the OVC Newcomer of the Week (Kaitlyn Teeter, 2016).
The Raymore, Missouri native leads the OVC with a .309 hitting percentage through 83 sets and has posted a .373 mark since October 5th.
The Bruins are led by senior outside hitter Taylor Floyd who leads the team with 217 kills this season. Belmont’s setter duo of Izzy Schauer and Carly Mason rank ninth and 10th in assists in the OVC, respectively.
Outside hitter Brooke Moore, a Preseason All-OVC selection, is one of only eight Govs players to record both 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs during their career. She enters Tuesday’s match with 1,462 kills (4th all-time) and 1,473 digs (10th).
With her fourth kill against SIU Edwardsville, October 1st, Moore passed Austin Peay alumna Kim Smith (1996-99) for fourth all-time in career kills. The graduate student is 16 kills away from passing Becky Sowinski’s (1997-00) 1,477 career kill mark.
Right-side hitter Mikayla Powell, the reigning 2020-21 NJCAA National Player of the Year, repeated as the OVC Newcomer of the Week, Monday. Powell is currently second on the team in kills (215) and blocks (50) and leads the conference with a .309 hitting percentage.
Middle blocker Maggie Keenan, who has recorded four or more blocks 11 times this season and leads the Govs with 71 on the season and is third in the OVC. Her 1.01 blocks per set is currently tied for the third-highest mark in program history
APSU setter tandem of Caroline Waite and Kelsey Mead are in their second year combining to quarterback the Govs offense. The duo ranks 12th and 13th all-time in career assists, respectively. Waite has averaged 4.93 assists and 2.16 digs per set while Mead is averaging 5.22 assists and 1.78 digs per set with 19 aces through eight weeks.
The Governors have boasted a high-powered offense throughout the season and lead the conference with a .234 attack parentage.
The Govs defense has held opponents to sub-.150 hitting percentages in six matches this season and is fifth overall in the conference allowing a .192 hitting percentage.
The Govs’ 8-1 start in conference play is tied for the best start in program history. In the two other seasons that the Govs started 8-1 in conference play – 2017 and 2018 –the team went 14-2 in conference and won three combined OVC championships.
Next Up For APSU Volleyball
Following their series against Belmont, the Austin Peay State University volleyball team travels to Cape Girardeau, Missouri for a two-match series against the Redhawks, October 28th-29th, in a battle of the OVC’s top teams.