OVC volleyball teams coming off weekend openers

Eastern+setter+Summer+Smith+%28left%29+sets+up+middle+hitter+Kameryn+Sillmon+for+a+kill+attempt+against+IUPUI+Aug.+27+in+Lantz+Arena.+Smith+had+25+assists+in+the+match%2C+which+Eastern+won+3-0.+

Adam Tumino | The Daily Eastern News

Eastern setter Summer Smith (left) sets up middle hitter Kameryn Sillmon for a kill attempt against IUPUI Aug. 27 in Lantz Arena. Smith had 25 assists in the match, which Eastern won 3-0.

Adam Tumino, Sports Editor

Of the 10 volleyball teams in the OVC, nine have officially begun their seasons. 

Belmont has yet to play a match, but the rest of the conference played two or three matches over the weekend. A pair of teams, Eastern and Southeast Missouri, are sitting atop the very-early standings at 3-0. 

The Panthers got their three wins against IUPUI, Bellarmine and Chicago State in the EIU Panthers Invitational, winning the matches 3-0, 3-2 and 3-2 respectively. 

Eastern is the only team in the conference to open its season at home.

The Redhawks also swept an invitational, beating De Paul, Bradley and Central Michigan in the CEFCU Invitational hosted by Bradley. 

Tennessee State is also unbeaten at 2-0 with wins coming against Alcorn State and New Orleans. 

Murray State is the fourth and final OVC team with a record over .500 to begin the season. The Racers played in the Mercer Bear Classic, beating New Hampshire and Stetson 3-1 before falling 3-2 against host Mercer. 

Rounding out the standings is Tennessee Tech at 1-1, Austin Peay, Morehead State and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville at 1-2 and Tennessee Martin at 0-3. 

Tennessee State is leading the conference so far in hitting percentage (.255) and assists per set (14.14) while Murray State is leading with 14.92 kills per set. 

Southeast Missouri leads the OVC in both blocks per set (3.64) and digs per set (23.45).

Eastern ranks third in hitting percentage (.240) and opponents hitting percentage (.159), fourth in kills per set (12.73) and assists per set (12.27) and leads the conference with 2.36 service aces per set. 

Murray State freshman outside hitter Brooke Watts leads the conference with 5.31 kills per set, 1.15 higher than the second-ranked player. 

Watts was named the OVC Offensive Player of the Week and Newcomer of the Week for her opening performances. 

Eastern outside hitter Danielle Allen ranks eighth in that category with 3.55 kills per set. Allen’s teammate Christina Martinez Mundo ranks fifth in the OVC in digs per set with 4.64. 

Leading the conference in that category is Southeast Missouri’s Tara Beilsmith with 7.64 digs per set. 

Beilsmith was named the OVC Defensive Player of the Week. 

 

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