Clarksville, TN – Fresh off claiming the title in its Stacheville Challenge, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) volleyball team begins its first-ever run through the ASUN Conference gauntlet when it travels to Bellarmine and Eastern Kentucky for matches Friday and Saturday, respectively.
The Govs meet Bellarmine in a Friday 5:00pm CT match at Knights Hall on the Bellarmine campus. APSU then meets long-time foe Eastern Kentucky in a Saturday 1:00pm match at McBrayer Arena in Richmond, Kentucky.
Mikayla Powell earned tournament “Most Valuable Player” honors and was the ASUN Player of the Week after scoring 4.9 kills per set and an astounding .518 attack percentage for the Govs. Kelsey Mead and Marlayna Bullington joined her on the all-tournament team.
Mead set the Govs en route to their impressive offensive weekend, averaging 8.7 assists per set. Bullington notched 3.1 kills and 3.1 digs per set to aid the APSU effort.
Through The Rotation
Right-side hitter Mikayla Powell notched her third-career 20-kill performance to open the Govs’ Stacheville Challenge.
Her 23 kills against North Dakota State was the third-consecutive time she opened a weekend with 20-plus kills. Powell ranks fourth among ASUN hitters with 152 total kills and is fifth at 3.45 kills per set.
After posting two double-digit kill outings in the season’s first two weeks, outside hitter Marlayna Bullington has four in her last six matches. She is averaging 2.78 kills per set and has a .255 attack percentage over those six matches.
Kelsey Mead and Janvier Buggs have teamed up at setter this season, the fourth-consecutive year the Govs have used a setting tandem. Mead has a team-best 6.30 assists per set while Buggs has 3.83 assists per set.
Middle blocker Maggie Keenan picked up all-tournament honors at the WKU Invitational thanks to an 11-block performance against Toledo, on September 10th.
It is tied for the fourth-best single-match performance all-time by an APSU Govs blocker.
Middle blocker Jaida Clark posted 21 kills (2.1 per set) and a .333 attack percentage during the Stacheville Challenge. She has three double-digit kill efforts in 2022.
Erin Eisenhart has picked up where she left off last season, averaging 4.02 digs per set at the libero spot. She ranks seventh among the ASUN’s defenders and is pacing an APSU defense that ranks third in the ASUN with 15.30 digs per set.
Right-side hitter Tegan Seyring posted 14 kills and a .216 attack percentage in the Govs’ Stacheville Challenge last weekend. She has posted three double-digit kill outings in 2022.
Outside hitter Elizabeth Wheat opened the Stacheville Challenge with a season-best 10 kills against North Dakota State.
Austin Peay State University joined the college conference realignment movement last season with its move to the ASUN Conference becoming official on July 1st.
APSU Govs, Quickly
Austin Peay State University enters its first ASUN Conference tour with wins in five of its last six matches. The Govs won their own Stacheville Challenge last weekend with victories against North Dakota State, East Tennessee, and UT Martin.
The APSU Govs are making their second trip into Kentucky this weekend, just two weeks after finishing second in the WKU Invitational with victories against Northern Kentucky and Toledo before falling to No. 21 Western Kentucky.
Bellarmine: 5th Meeting, Series tied 2-2
Notably: The Govs-Knights series began with three matches in the 1980s with Bellarmine winning two of the meetings. Austin Peay traveled to Bellarmine last season and leveled the series with a three-set victory.
Last Meeting: Austin Peay State University was led by a balanced scoring effort with five players recording seven or more kills as the team posted a .339 attack percentage. Brooke Moore led APSU with 14 kills while Elizabeth Wheat chipped in 10 kills.
Eastern Kentucky: 72nd meeting, EKU leads 41-30
Notably: Austin Peay State University and Eastern Kentucky renew acquaintances in a series that was paused in 2019 following the Colonels’ departure for the ASUN Conference. The Govs have won three-straight matches in the series and five of the last six dating back to the 2015 season.
Last Meeting: Austin Peay State University closed out the 2019 regular season with a dominant three-set sweep at the Winfield Dunn Center. Moore had 13 of the APSU Govs’ 40 kills in the contest. Ginny Gerig posted 26 digs on her way to becoming the second Govs’ player with 2,000 career digs.