Eastern volleyball team nearing conference play


Jason Howell

Senior outside hitter Kayla Nesbitt leaps for the ball during the Panthers' home-opening loss to Indiana State on Sept. 1 at Lantz Arena.

Sean Hastings

The Eastern volleyball team is set to open conference play Sept. 25 when they host Tennessee Tech.

As of now, there has not been an Ohio Valley Conference play matchup, but all teams have been playing in small tournaments.

The Panthers currently sit at 5-5, which has them in second place in the OVC overall record rankings. Murray State sits atop the list with a 7-1 record.

Eastern will take on Murray State Oct. 9 in Murray, Ky.

Murray State’s only loss comes from Washington University who beat them in straight sets, 3-0.

The Racers have only lost two other sets, which were to Eastern Michigan.

Murray State has straight sets against every school they have played.

The Racers and the Panthers are the only schools in the OVC who do not have losing records.

Austin Peay and Jacksonville State both have 4-7 records and the teams below them have even fewer wins.

Belmont currently sits at 3-6 along with Southeast Missouri.

Belmont lost their first four matches of the season before finally getting a win against University of Texas at El Paso, 3-1.

Eastern will take on Belmont Oct. 3 in Nashville, Tenn. and will have a home and home with Southeast Missouri. The Panthers will host Southeast Missouri Oct. 17 and travel to Cape Girardeau Oct. 30.

Also really struggling in the early parts on the non-conference season is Tennessee Tech and Eastern Kentucky. Tennessee Tech has a 1-9 record and Eastern Kentucky is 1-10.

It took Tennessee Tech seven matches to come away with a win as they lost to Evansville, Wright State, Niagara University, University of Tennessee, University of North Florida, and University of North Carolina-Greensboro to start the year.

After winning their first match of the year, Tennessee Tech has not won a single set going 0-3, 0-3, 0-3 in their next three matches.

Eastern Kentucky almost had the same winning problem except it took them eight matches to win. They also have not won a set since their win, losing 3-0 three times in a row.

It is tough to judge how good a team actually is because they are sometimes playing teams that play for bigger schools.

Eastern will be taking on No. 20 Ohio State this weekend.

Eastern coach Sam Wolinski said in the past that playing the tough teams will only make them better and get them even more prepared for when conference play starts.


Sean Hastings can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]