Adam Tumino | The Daily Eastern News
After back-to-back last place finishes in the OVC, the Eastern volleyball team finds itself right at the top of the standings as conference play nears.
With a record of 7-1 in nonconference competition, the Panthers moved into first place in the OVC Wednesday with Tennessee State’s loss to Evansville.
Eastern ranks third in the OVC with a hitting percentage of .217 and fourth in opponent hitting percentage of .180.
The Panthers rank sixth in kills per set (12.23) but are allowing the fewest kills per set of any team in the OVC (10.74). They have been the top serving team in the OVC, leading the conference with 2.32 services per set and 72 total aces, 16 more than the next-closest team.
Eastern has been blocked less frequently than any other OVC team, just 1.18 times per set.
Tennessee State is now in second place with a record of 5-1. The Tigers still lead the conference in hitting percentage (.258) and rank second in kills per set (14.65). They also lead the OVC in blocks per set, averaging 2.53.
Southeast Missouri is in third place with its 6-3 record. The Redhawks rank third in the OVC with 12.82 kills per set. They have also performed well defensively.
Southeast Missouri leads the conference with 18.92 kills per set and their opponent hitting percentage of .146 ranks second.
Murray State and Tennessee Tech are both 5-3 on the season. Murray State has played well on the attack, with its hitting percentage of .231 ranking second in the OVC and kills per set 15.29 leading the conference.
Tennessee Tech is in the middle of the conference in many statistical categories except service aces, where they rank second.
Sixth place is occupied by Austin Peay, which at 5-4 is the last OVC team with a winning record.
The Governors ranks fourth in hitting percentage and third in opponent hitting percentage. They rank near the bottom in kills per set, ranking eighth with an average of 11.38.
Morehead State, last season’s OVC champions, find themselves in the bottom half of the standings in nonconference play. The Eagles are 3-5 so far.
They rank next-to-last in the conference in hitting percentage (.162) and seventh in opponent hitting percentage (.200), although they rank fourth with 12.76 kills per set.
Belmont finds itself in eighth place with a 2-5 record. The Bruins have dropped five matches in a row after a 2-0 start to the season.
They rank fifth in the conference in hitting percentage (.198) and fourth in digs per set (15.48)
Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and Tennessee-Martin occupy the last two spots in the standings.
The Cougars are 2-7 and are the only team in the conference averaging single digit kills per set (9.85). They are also last in the conference in digs per set and assists per set.
Tennessee-Martin has a record of 1-8 and is last in the OVC in hitting percentage (.123) and are allowing their opponents to hit a whopping .315 so far this season. They are also allowing 16.20 kills per set.
Conference play is scheduled to get underway next week, with Tennessee State and Belmont playing Sept. 21.
Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]