APSU Lady Govs travel to Murray State, Tuesday
APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – The final regular-season week starts for Austin Peay State University’s volleyball team when it travels to Murray State for a 7:00pm, Tuesday, Ohio Valley Conference contest at Racer Arena.
Austin Peay (14-16, 8-6 OVC) was unable to lock up a postseason bid over the weekend, splitting matches at Southeast Missouri and UT Martin.
Austin Peay senior middle blocker Hillary Plybon recorded her fifth-straight double-digit kill outing with 10 kills against UT Martin Saturday. (APSU Sports Information)
The Lady Govs enter the final week with a magic number of one – meaning a win in either of their remaining games will punch APSU’s postseason ticket.
“I was both pleased and disappointed with our performances this weekend,” said Lady Govs head coach Taylor Mott. “I believe we showed up to play and had a lot of fight against Southeast Missouri and it showed in the result. On the other hand, we didn’t bring any of that energy to our match at UT Martin and we lost an important match. Right now, each match is our biggest match and we have to show up ready to play that way.”
Senior middle blocker Hillary Plybon continued her late season tear, racking up double-digit kill totals at both Southeast Missouri (11) and UT Martin (10). She now has a streak of five consecutive double-digit kill outings and is averaging 3.19 kills per set and hitting .465 in the six matches since her return from injury.
“Hillary has found a different gear since she returned,” said Mott. “She is so much more confident at the net and is really attacking the ball. She’s also being a factor on the defensive side as teams are starting to adjust for her presence at the net. Hillary is setting the tone for us as we close this season.”
The Lady Govs will face a Murray State team it defeated in the second week of OVC play. However, that is the only loss Murray State has suffered in league action this season, and has since run off 11 consecutive OVC wins since and clinched at least a share of its first-ever OVC regular-season title entering this week.
The Racers are the top ranked team in each of the league’s offensive attack categories – attack percentage (.266), kills (15.07 per set) and assists (14.17 per set).
Murray State features a three-headed offensive monster with sophomore outside hitter Scottie Ingram, junior outside hitter Taylor Olden and sophomore right side hitter Kristen Besselsen each averaging more than three kills per set.
Ingram leads the OVC with 4.79 kills per set while posting a .298 attack percentage in league play. Olden ranks fourth among OVC hitters with 3.66 kills per set in conference action. Besselsen is just outside the league’s top 10, averaging 3.15 kills per set.
In the season’s first meeting Austin Peay posted a three-set sweep at the Dunn Center. Senior outside hitter Jada Stotts led APSU with 15 kills while sophomore outside hitter Sammie Ebright had a 14-kill outing.
More importantly, the Lady Govs held the Murray State trio to 26 kills as Murray State recorded just 38 kills and was held to a .131 attack percentage.