Panthers drop 2nd-straight to Morehead State

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

For the second-straight time to open the season, the Eastern volleyball team lost to Morehead State at home.

The Panthers lost in straight sets Monday afternoon after winning the second set in a 3-1 loss in the matchup on Sunday.

The matches against Morehead were the first of eight two-match series that Eastern will play this season, which has been reduced to a 16-game, conference-only schedule.

The match’s opening set was least competitive of the afternoon, with Morehead State winning it 25-16.

The Panthers’ top performer in the first set was senior outside hitter Laurel Bailey, who recorded 5 kills in the set en route to 11 for the match, which were the second-most on the team and fourth-most in the game.

Morehead State’s attack in the first set was efficient, as the Eagles recorded 14 kills with just 4 errors on 23 total attacks.

Their hitting percentage of .435 in the opening set went down each set, and as a result Eastern drew closer on the scoreboard in each set.

In the second set, the Eagles had a still-effective hitting percentage of .306 while Eastern was actually less efficient, hitting .182 after hitting .214 in the first set.

The Panthers tried to rally when down 24-20 in the second set, scoring back-to-back points on a kill from Kylie Michael and a service ace from Christina Martinez Mundo. A kill from Morehead State’s McKenzee Wagener sealed the set for Eagles.

In the third set, Eastern had a better hitting percentage than the Eagles, hitting .263 while Morehead State hit .214.

Although the Panthers were more efficient, the Eagles had four more attacks and one more kill, helping them win the set 25-23 and the match 3-0.

The Eagles seemed to be in control in the set, at one point holding a 20-13 lead over Eastern.

But the Panthers went on an 8-2 run to pull within one point at 22-21. They were also within one point at 23-22 and 24-23, but the Eagles were able to hold on to their leads and seal the match with a kill from senior Olivia Lohmeier.

Lohmeier recorded 13 kills in the match, tied for the most on the team with Lauren Rokey.

For Eastern, Michael recorded a team-high 13 kills to join Bailey as the only Panthers to reach double figures in kills.

Eastern freshman Ella Collins, seeing her first action at the college level, recorded 9 kills and 10.5 points while hitting .600 for the match, the highest hitting percentage for any player in the match.

Looking forward, Eastern will look to pick up its first win on the road against Tennessee Tech on Feb. 14 and 15. The matches will begin at 7 p.m. and 5 p.m. respectively.

Eastern’s only conference win last season came against Tennessee Tech on Oct. 18, 2019.

 

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