CLARKSVILLE – Austin Peay State University’s volleyball team could not hold onto leads in the first two sets and dropped a three-set Ohio Valley Conference decision (22-25, 27-29, 13-25) to SIU Edwardsville, Friday night, at the Dunn Center.
Austin Peay (9-16, 6-3 OVC) got to 21 points first in both the opening two sets. However, they could not hold a 21-17 lead in the first frame or a 21-18 lead in the second set.
SIUE (9-13, 5-4 OVC) wiped out the Lady Govs 21-17 advantage in the opening set with a 6-0 run to gain set point, 24-21. The Lady Govs would fend off the first set-point chance, but could not deny the Cougars a second time and fell 25-22.
The Lady Govs 21-18 second set lead was erased by a 6-1 Cougars run to again setup set point at 24-22. This time Austin Peay leveled the set with kills by junior Jada Stotts and freshman Sammie Ebright. However, they could not gain their own set point. Instead, SIUE would get to set point four more times with Austin Peay able to level each time until the Cougars block ended the set in a 29-27 victory.
Following the break, SIUE took control of the third set quickly. The Cougars used a 4-0 run to build a 5-2 advantage. However, it was a 13-0 run with Cori Harris on serve that sealed the set. The Lady Govs were their own worst enemy during the run, committing four attack errors and surrendering three service aces. Austin Peay would piece together a 4-0 run late in the set, but could not recover and fell 25-13.
Austin Peay was held to 36 kills and a meager .181 attack percentage. Ebright posted eight kills and no errors en route to a .471 attack percentage. Senior Lauren Henderson had a team-best nine kills and chipped in seven blocks. Stotts suffered another uneven night at the net, recording eight kills but was charged with five errors.
SIUE finished with 47 kills and a .222 attack percentage, but also scored eight service aces. Kelsey Augustine and Kristen Torres each had 13 kills to pace the Cougars offense. Cori Harris and Chelsea Colclasure each a three service aces.
Austin Peay will have less than 16 hours to think about Friday’s result as it will host Eastern Illinois in a noon, Saturday contest.
Post-Match Reaction from Lady Govs head coach Taylor Mott: