Eastern volleyball splits weekend games

Sean Hastings, Assistant Sports Editor

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After losing to Murray State on Friday, the Eastern volleyball team got back in the win column by defeating Austin Peay 3-1 on Saturday.

The Panthers were riding a two-game losing streak heading into the match against Austin Peay.

The two teams played a wild first set as points went back and forth at times but also consisted of Austin Peay going on scoring runs and Eastern going on scoring runs.

Eastern’s scoring runs ended up being much more crucial than Austin Peay’s. The Governors led the Panthers 24-21 only needing one point to get the set win, but the Panthers scored five straight to come back and win 26-24.

“(I’m) proud of the way the team fought back (Saturday) for the win after (Friday) nights loss at Murray,” coach Sam Wolinski said.

Eastern dropped the second set by a score 25-17 in a set that Austin Peay controlled most of the way not allowing Eastern to go on any scoring runs.

Eastern’s fight was shown in the next two sets where they were able finish off the Governors and get the match win.

The Panthers won the third set in dominating fashion 25-16.

Eastern was actually down 14-13 at one point but a block by redshirt sophomore Josie Winner tied it and sparked a 8-0 scoring run by the Panthers to get a 21-14 lead.

From that point on it was all Eastern as Austin Peay only scored two more points.

The third set was a little closer but Eastern proved to be too much for the Governors and won 25-20.

The ‘defense wins ball games,’ and that is what helped Eastern grab this win.

The Panthers had 70 digs in the match, and Eastern had 15 more digs than Austin Peay.

“Stephanie Wallace anchored our defense as we out dug them by 15,” Wolinski said.

Wallace had 22 digs in the match adding to her already all-time leading total for Eastern volleyball.

The Panthers took on Murray State on Friday but that did not turn out in the Panthers’ favor.

Murray State, picked to win the OVC, came in with an undefeated 4-0 record. Murray State straight set the Panthers. That was the first time an OVC team has done that to them this year.
The Racers won the first set 25-21 and their win margins only got bigger in the next two. Murray State won 25-18 in the second and 25-13 in the third.

Usually the Panthers are able to get lots of players involved in getting kills but Chelsea Lee led with just seven kills. Eastern had 25 as a team.

“Murray State played a solid match from start to finish,” Wolinski said. “They did a great job earning kills off of our block and we struggled offensively minus Chelsea Lee.”

 

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