Volleyball team on the road this week


Bryan Bund

Senior Maria Brown return a ball in the Panthers game against Tennessee State at Lantz Arena on Sep. 30. Eastern won the match in four sets, the first win in a streak of three.

Kaitlin Cordes, Volleyball Reporter

The Eastern volleyball team will play two road matches this weekend before returning to Charleston for another four-match home stand.

The Panthers will head to Morehead State Friday. Eastern sits three slots above the Eagles in Ohio Valley Conference standings, with Eastern tied for third with Jacksonville State and Tennessee-Martin at 3-3 in the conference.

Morehead State enters the match at 1-5 in the conference and 10-9 overall. Eastern is on a three-match conference winning streak and has yet to win in away match against conference opponents.

Morehead State has utilized a young roster for the most part in its last two matches. The Eagles were led by freshman Chandler Clark and junior Jordan Jones in their most recent match against Murray State. Clark turned in 19 assists and a team-high 16 digs. Jones earned a double-double, 16 kills and 20 assists to accompany her eight digs and seven blocks.

Jones, a setter, will be Morehead State’s player to watch for. She has the team’s second most kills on the season at 166 and has notched 16 services aces thus far. Eastern’s main setter, junior Taylor Smith has earned similar stats this season with 154 kills and 12 service aces.

Morehead State won the last meeting between the two teams in five sets at 29-27, 25-16, 19-25, 15-25, 10-15.

Eastern will face one of the conference’s top teams Saturday when they travel to Eastern Kentucky. Eastern Kentucky is tied for first in the conference with Austin Peay, as each team is currently 5-1.

Eastern Kentucky recently ended Austin Peay’s 11-match winning streak, as the Colonel’s defeated Austin Peay 25-21, 25-14, 24-26 and 25-20. The Colonel’s Celina Sanks is a dominating force in the front row for Eastern Kentucky.

Sanks has a team high 212 kills on the season and has recorded 19 services aces. Leading in blocks for Eastern Kentucky are middles Kaylin Johnson with 50 and Ciera Koons with 57. Eastern’s middle, senior Allie Hueston, has recorded 110 kills on the season.

Hueston was also recently named the OVC defensive player of the week. She earned the honor for her performance in last weekend’s matches against Southeast Missouri and Tennessee-Martin where she earned 11 blocks and 12 kills on the offensive side. The honor is Hueston’s first of its kind this season.

Eastern Kentucky beat Eastern Illinois in the teams’ last matchup. The Panthers kept pace with Eastern Kentucky, however, pushing the match to five sets (18-25, 17-25, 25-23, 25-17, 11-15).

The Morehead State match will begin at 6 p.m., and the Panthers will play an afternoon match at Eastern Kentucky at 1 p.m. Next up for the Panthers is a home match against Tennessee Tech.

Kaitlin Cordes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]