Louisville, KY – Marlayna Bullington scored 16 kills, leading the Austin Peay State University (APSU) volleyball team to a five-set victory (12-25, 26-24, 25-21, 24-26, 15-12) in its ASUN Conference debut against Bellarmine, Friday night, at Knights Hall.
Austin Peay (8-4, 1-0 ASUN) got off to a rough start losing the first set with just eight kills in the opening set while hitting .027 with seven attack errors. Bullington led the charge back with an unblemished six kills in a match-leveling second-set win. Austin Peay State University then relied on its front-row defense, which scored six blocks to win the third frame.
The Governor took control in the fifth with three consecutive blocks, which along with a Janvier Buggs ace, turned a 4-4 tie into an 8-4 lead. Bellarmine would close back within a point twice down the stretch, but Austin Peay State University fended off the charges to claim the victory.
Bullington’s 16-kill performance was her third-straight double-digit kill performance. Keenan had seven blocks and nine kills, leading the APSU Govs’ defense which recorded 14 blocks.
Jayme Scott led Bellarmine with 20 kills. Kylie VanHoy added 15 kills and Hannah Brown tacked on 13 kills. That trio combined for 48 of the Knights’ 65 kills.
Marlayna Bullington remained hot with her third-straight double-digit kill performance.
Her 16-kill performance in Louisville was one shy of her career-high set on September 10th against Toledo.
She is averaging 3.55 kills per set and hitting .258 during her current three-match streak.
Inside the Box Score
Special Teams To The Rescue
Austin Peay State University’s offense had trouble getting its footing in the match’s opening moments. So the APSU Govs turned where they usually do in such situations – serving and blocking. Austin Peay State University’s 14 blocks were its fourth double-digit block outing. APSU finished the match with 11 service aces – its third double-digit service ace effort of 2022.
Another Five Set Dub
Austin Peay State University remained unbeaten this season when going to five sets. The Governors also are 2-0 in five-set matches on the road, adding Friday’s win to a Friday victory at Florida A&M on September 2nd.
Set 1 (Bellarmine won 25-12): Bellarmine opened the match with a 7-1 run, and Austin Peay State University could not get on track the rest of the set. The Knights pushed their lead to 11-2 and then 20-7. The Govs would score five of seven in a stretch that saw them close back to 22-12, but Bellarmine scored the final three points to claim the set. APSU was held to a .027 attack percentage (8 kills) in the set, while Bellarmine posted a .382 mark (15 kills).
Set 2 (Govs won 26-24): Austin Peay State University and Bellarmine battled back-and-forth in the second set, with neither team leading by more than one point until Bellarmine used a 3-0 run to take a 13-10 lead. The Governors leveled the set at 16-16 with a 4-2 run and later used a 3-0 run to take a 22-19 lead. Bellarmine battled back with a 5-2 run to get to set point at 24-23. But APSU got back-to-back kills from Bullington and Keena before Elizabeth Wheat sealed the set with a solo block. The Govs’ offense lit up with 18 kills and a .319 attack percentage to level the match.
Set 3 (Govs won 25-21): Austin Peay State University opened the set with a 4-1 run and slowly built that advantage to seven points at 18-11. Bellarmine didn’t fade away and used a 7-0 rally to tie the set, 18-18. But after the Knights tied the set, APSU won seven of the final 10 points to win the set and take a 2-1 lead.
Set 4 (Bellarmine won 26-24): Austin Peay State University led, though not comfortably, for most of the fourth set. Bellarmine would force the first tie at 15-15 and took its first lead at 16-15 after an Austin Peay State University error. The APSU Govs and Knights would exchange the lead four more times down the stretch. Austin Peay State University would get to match point at 24-23, thanks to a Bullington kill. But the Knights scored the following three points to force the decisive fifth set.
Set 5 (Govs won 15-11). After some early back-and-forth play, Austin Peay State University took control with an impressive sequence at 4-4. After a Knights error gave the Govs serve, Buggs served up an ace for the 5-4 lead. The APSU Govs’ front row then took over with Maggie Keenan, Marlayna Bullington, and Tegan Seyring blocking three consecutive Knights attacks for an 8-4 lead. That outburst proved decisive as APSU would fend off a couple of Knights’ charges to win the race to 15.
Next Up For APSU Women’s Volleyball
The Austin Peay State University women’s volleyball team continues its first-ever ASUN Conference road trip when it faces Eastern Kentucky in a Saturday 1:00pm CT match in Richmond, Kentucky.