Volleyball team in third for OVC late in season

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

The Eastern volleyball team has four matches left in the regular season and is currently in third place in the Ohio Valley Conference standings behind Belmont and first place Murray State.

Eastern is 9-3 on the season with one of those wins coming against Murray State who had not lost a match and just one set before losing to the Panthers in Lantz Arena.

As the season winds down these final matches will be key in seeding for the tournament for each team who will be attending.

The top eight teams will be invited to play for the OVC title, which will be hosted at Murray State.

If the season was to end today and the teams were headed to the tournament this weekend the teams that would be invited would be Murray State, Belmont, Eastern, Tennessee State, Eastern Kentucky, Southeast Missouri, Morehead State. UT-Martin, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and Tennessee Tech all have 4-8 records looking to get the eighth spot.

Eastern will be traveling to Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State this weekend looking to continue their win streak. The Panthers five game win streak was snapped by SEMO last weekend but Eastern got back on track with a win against UT-Martin.

Jacksonville State can only hope to win the next four and have the teams in front of them lose their four remaining games. Austin Peay is 1-11 and do not have a chance to make it.

Murray State won the conference tournament last year and came into the season as the favorite to win it again this year. Belmont was picked to finish second and Eastern was picked to finish third so right now it’s pretty accurate.

Eastern has a few players in the top ten statistically for their respective categories. Sophomore Allie Hueston is second in hitting percentage with a .354 hitting percentage.

Senior Marah Bradbury is ninth in assists with 740 in 104 sets played. Fellow senior Stephanie Wallace is third in the OVC for digs with 475. Wallace has the most digs but has played more sets than the top two. Senior Madison Halterman of TSU leads with 449 in 93 sets played.

For Eastern, senior Chelsea Lee leads the team with 251 kills with Hueston right behind her with 248. Bradbury and Wallace lead their respective categories by a large margin. Bradbury’s 740 assists is 331 more than freshman Taylor Smith. Wallace has almost double than Smith in digs who is also second in that category with 258.

The Panthers also have seven players with over 100 kills. Sophomore Maria Brown has 179, Smith has 175, senior Kayla Nesbitt has 161, senior Abby Saalfrank has 156 and redshirt sophomore Josie Winner has 126.


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