Panthers fall to Cougars in season finale

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

A 3-0 loss to Southern Illinois-Edwardsville Monday marked the end of the season for the Eastern volleyball team.

The Panthers went 2-14 in the conference-only spring season, a slight improvement over last season went they went 1-15 in conference play.

The outcome of Monday’s match was very important for the Cougars, as they clinched a spot in the reduced four-team conference tournament with the win and an Austin Peay loss against Tennessee-Martin.

The Cougars ended the season with a 10-4 record and won their final six matches of the regular season.

With their postseason berth on the line, the Cougars came out strong in the first two sets, winning each by a score of 25-16.

They outhit the Panthers .268 to .087 in the first set and .259 to .063 in the second.

The third set was closer with a score of 25-21. The Cougars hit .182 in the final set while Eastern hit .115.

Leading the way for the Panthers once again was senior outside hitter Laurel Bailey, playing her final match for the Panthers.

The team’s lone senior, Bailey had 11 kills and 10 digs in the match.

It was her 10th-straight match with double figures in kills and she had 10 or more kills in 13 of the 14 matches she played this season.

Bailey ended her final season as one of the top offensive players in the OVC, ranking fifth with 3.66 kills per set and fourth with 4.15 points per set.

Although the Panthers still finished tied for last in the OVC, there were some areas where they improved over last season.

They won 13 sets this season after winning just five in their 16 conference matches last season.

They also averaged nearly one kill and one point more per set than they did last season.

 

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