Eastern volleyball nears season’s end

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

The season is winding down for the Eastern volleyball as they only have two more matches before they head to the Ohio Valley Conference tournament Nov. 19.

All season long the Panthers have been preparing for the OVC tournament, although the hope of hosting it is not going to happen, they will be playing in it at Murray State.

Murray State sits at the top of the conference with a 13-1 record. That one loss came from the Panthers a few weeks ago.

Eastern is currently 10-4 on the year and will take on Southern Illinois Edwardsville in a rare mid week match. The Panthers will take on Tennessee State on Saturday to wrap up their season.

All season long Eastern has been successful at getting a lot of players involved in the kill game as they usually out kill their opponents.

Eastern has out-killed their opponents 1,511-1477. They also have 20 less attack errors than their opponents.

Senior Chelsea Lee leads the Panthers with 285 kills. Sophomore middle hitter Allie Hueston and sophomore outside hitter Maria Brown also have over 200 kills with 266 and 203 respectively.

The same goes for digs for Eastern. Senior libero Stephanie Wallace usually leads the way in that category but is never alone as a few more players find themselves in double digits. Wallace broke the Eastern all-time digs record earlier in the season.

The Panthers have also out-digged their opponents 1,747-1,647. They also average more digs per set at 15.1 compared to their opponent’s average of 14.2.

The Panthers have only had one less block than their opponents this season with 217.5.

Another category that the Panthers lead in is assists. Eastern has 1,405 compared to their opponent’s 1,381. Senior setter Marah Bradbury leads that category with 742 assits on the year.

Earlier in the season coach Sam Wolinski said how versatile freshman Taylor Smith was and how it would help the Panthers this season.

Smith has 177 kills, 490 assists and 278 digs. Smith has posted triple-doubles on multiple occasions this year.

Smith’s stats have been good enough to earn her back-to-back OVC Newcomer of the Week awards. She won the award for the week ending Oct. 23-24, and the week before Oct. 16-17.

Eastern will host SIUE Wednesday night in Lantz Arena at 6 p.m. Then will host Tennessee State on Saturday.


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