Bowling Green, KY – Marlayna Bullington finished with a career-high 17 kills and Austin Peay State University’s volleyball team outlasted Toledo in five sets (23-25, 25-22, 27-29, 25-22, 15-13) to open the final day of the Holiday Inn – University Plaza Invitational, Saturday, at E.A. Diddle Arena.
Austin Peay (4-3) prevailed in a match with 51 ties and 20 lead changes. Even the decisive fifth set saw the teams battle through 10 ties and three lead changes. Toledo led most of the set and held a 13-12 advantage late.
Bullington’s career-best 17 kills also saw her record 18 digs and three blocks. Those three blocks were part of an Austin Peay State University season-best 17-block performance with Maggie Keenan supplying 11 blocks and Mikayla Powell chipping in seven blocks.
Toledo’s Taylor Alt led all hitters with 26 kills and had 13 digs and four blocks. Jada Bouyer and Rhyenne Filisi supplied 14 kills each.
Bullington opened with back-to-back sets where she posted four kills with no errors.
After being held off the board in the third, she roared back with seven kills in the fourth set. Bullington chipped in two kills in the decisive fifth set.
Inside the Box Score
BLOCK PARTY: The Governors’ 17-block performance was the fifth best in program history, equaling a 17-block effort against Kent State during the 2016 season. Maggie Keenan’s 11 blocks are the fourth most by a player in program history, equaling a mark set by Ashley Slay in 2016 and Diana Hart in 1997.
SET METHODOLOGY: For the second-straight match and only the second time this season, Austin Peay State University won a match in which it lost the first set. The Governors have split the first two frames in all seven matches this season. Austin Peay State University won for the second time this season when falling behind 2-1 in a match. The APSU Governors have won all three of their five-set matches in 2022.
Set 1 (Toledo won 25-23): Neither team led by more than three points until Toledo scored four-straight points to build a 13-6 advantage and force an Austin Peay State University timeout. The Rockets extended the lead with a point after the timeout before Austin Peay State University returned the favor with a four-point run to close within 18-16. The APSU Govs later took the lead, 22-21, courtesy a five-point run. Austin Peay State University led 23-22, but Toledo scored three final points to secure the set.
Set 2 (Govs won 25-22): Again, neither team led by three points, but this time it stayed that way through the entire set. Toledo tied the set at 22-22 with three-straight kills. APSU called timeout to halt the Rockets’ momentum and the tactic worked with a service error out of the break. Tegan Seyring followed with a kill and Javier Buggs scored an ace to clinch the set.
Set 3 (Toledo won 29-27): Toledo opened with control of the third set, scoring five-straight points to nab an early 7-2 lead. But the APSU Govs responded with five points of their own, including back-to-back kills by Elizabeth Wheat and Mikayla Powell, to tie the score 7-7. Toledo rebuilt its five-point lead slowly, culminating in a 20-15 advantage late. Toledo led 23-19 late, but Austin Peay State University used a pair of Toledo errors, a Tegan Seyring kill, and a Sadie Edmonston service ace to tie the set. From there, the teams ultimately went into overtime, with Toledo only clinching the set with back-to-back kills for the 29-27 victory.
Set 4 (Govs won 25-20): The APSU Govs’ three-point win matched the largest lead by either team in the match. It was nip-and-tuck throughout, with neither team leading by more than two points until Austin Peay State University got a Bullington kill and a Toledo error to take a 24-21 advantage. The teams then traded the final two points, giving Austin Peay State University the win.
Set 5 (Govs won 15-13): For a quick set to 15 points, the fifth had plenty of drama with the Govs and Rockets battling through 10 ties and three lead changes. Toledo took the lead at 9-8 and built a 10-8 advantage. The APSU Govs would fight back to tie the set at 13-13 with a Kelsey Mead kill, forcing a Toledo timeout. But the timeout did not halt the Govs’ push, and Maggie Keenan and Elizabeth Wheat brought back-to-back blocks to end the match.