Notebook: SEMO to face Kentucky in NCAA Tournament

Adam Tumino, Volleyball Reporter

Southeast Missouri, after winning the OVC Volleyball Championship on Nov. 23, will play No. 9 Kentucky on Friday in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Redhawks clinched the OVC after sweeping Morehead State in the championship match.

Heading into the matchup with the Wildcats, Southeast Missouri will rely in its two All-OVC First Team selections: Maggie Adams and Laney Malloy.

Adams, Malloy and the rest of the All-OVC First Team was named following the regular season. Murray State, Morehead State and Jacksonville State each had three players named to the team. The individual highlight of the OVC was Murray State’s Rachel Giustino, who was named to the team and was also honored as the OVC Player of the Year.

She led the conference in kills with 610 kills, which ranked second in the nation, was the sixth-most in a single season in OVC history and set a school record. Giustino also set the all-time kills record at Murray State with 1,764, which is the seventh-most in OVC history.

The OVC Defensive Player of the Year was Ginny Gerig Busse of Austin Peay. She was second in the conference with 572 digs and third with 4.89 digs per set.

Jacksonville State boasts the OVC Setter and Coach of the Year with Lexie Libs and Todd Garvey. Libs was second in the OVC in both assists (1,178) and assists per set (11.11).

Garvey led the Gamecocks to a 13-3 conference record, the best in the OVC, in just his second season with the program. His team led the conference with a hitting percentage of .233 and ranked fourth in the conference in both kills per set and assists per set.

Leading the conference in kills per set was Morehead State. Led by Olivia Lohmeier, last season’s OVC Player of the Year, Morehead State averaged 14.38 kills per set. Assisting on many of these kills was Bridget Bessler, the OVC Freshman of the Year. She averaged 11.51 assists per set to lead the conference.


Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]