Clarksville, TN – For the second time in as many seasons, Austin Peay State University will play host to the Ohio Valley Conference volleyball championship tournament, running Nov. 15th through 17th at the Dunn Center, with a probable finals showdown versus the Murray State Racers for the tournament title and the automatic NCAA Tournament berth looming.
The Governors earned the host position and the tournament’s number-one seed after winning the conference’s regular-season title for the second straight year – the first time the program has won back-to-back regular-season titles – and finishing with a 25-4 overall record, including a 14-2 mark in OVC play.
The OVC Regular Season Champion Austin Peay Women’s Volleyball team begins quest for the OVC Volleyball Tournament Title starting Thursday at the Dunn Center. (APSU Sports Information)
But right behind them is the number-two seed Racers, who finished the regular season with an 19-9 record and a 13-3 mark in OVC play – including riding a 13-game win streak into the tournament.
The last loss suffered by the Racers came at the hands of the Govs back on September 25th as APSU came away with a 3-0 home (25-22, 25-22, 21-25, 25-15) victory, but since then the Racers have won 13 straight matches, after opening OVC play 0-3, and winning 39 out of 49 sets they’ve played over that span.
Austin Peay since the first meeting with Murray State has posted a 14-2 record, including a 3-1 (14-25, 15-25, 25-14, 11-25) road loss to the Racers on October 30th.
That was the only loss suffered by the Governors to a team that made the tournament field, with the other conference loss suffered by the Govs coming on the road at Belmont, while Murray State’s three losses all came to teams that made the tournament field (APSU, Tennessee-Martin, Southeast Missouri).
But while an Austin Peay-Murray State showdown in the tournament finals — for the second straight year — must be the favored conclusion coming into the tournament there are still two rounds of play for both to get through before that can happen and in a one-and-done situation anything can happen.
The Governors will open their play 7:00pm, November 15th in the quarterfinal round versus the tournament’s No. eight-seed Tennessee State (9-18, 7-9 OVC), while Murray State faces No. seven-seed Tennessee-Martin at 1:30pm.
Both must be heavy favorites in the quarterfinal round, even with Murray State losing to the Skyhawks to open OVC play this season.
It’s in the semi-final round where things could get dicey if either the Govs or Racers have an off day, or their opponents have a great day.
In the second round the Govs will face either the four-seed Jacksonville State (17-13, 9-7 OVC) or the five-seed Southern Illinois Edwardsville (9-19, 8-8 OVC) at 5:00pm November 16th, with Murray squaring off against No. three-seed Morehead State (20-9, 11-5 OVC) or fourth-seeded Southeast Missouri (16-13, 8-8 OVC) at 2:30pm.
No matter who the Govs or Racers face in the semifinals they will be challenged if they are to make the tournament’s championship game.
Last year’s finals between Austin Peay and Murray State went five games, with APSU winning the last two sets to come away with the victory, and if there is a repeat this season look for the same … a five-set nail-biter between the two teams that have shone all year that they are the class of the OVC.
The tournament’s championship game is scheduled for November 17th starting at noon.
About Chris Austin
Chris Austin is a graduate of Clarksville High School and Austin Peay State University.
Chris is a former Head Softball Coach for APSU, and assistant basketball coach for CHS.
Chris has worked at the Leaf-Chronicle, and WJZM News/Talk/Sports radio. Has also worked at the Sports Information Department at APSU, and has covered championship events for the Ohio Valley Conference and NCAA.
Chris is an avid sports fan and can be found at most Austin Peay State University sports events.
Web Site: http://www.clarksvillesportsnetwork.com
TopicsAPSU, APSU Dunn Center, Austin Peay State University, Belmont, Clarksville TN, Jacksonville State., Lady govs, Morehead State, Murray State, NCAA Tournament, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, OVC Tournament, OVC Volleyball Championship, Racers, Skyhawks, Southeast Missouri, Southern Illinois Edwardsville, Tennessee State, Tennessee-Martin