OVC play underway for volleyball teams

Eastern+outside+Kylie+Michael+drops+to+a+knee+to+receive+a+serve+in+a+match+against+Indiana+State+on+Sept.+19+in+Lantz+Arena.+Michael+had+8+kills+in+the+match%2C+which+Eastern+lost+3-1.

Adam Tumino | The Daily Eastern News

Eastern outside Kylie Michael drops to a knee to receive a serve in a match against Indiana State on Sept. 19 in Lantz Arena. Michael had 8 kills in the match, which Eastern lost 3-1.

Adam Tumino, Sports Editor

After about a month of nonconference play, the volleyball teams of the OVC have started playing the matches that matter the most. 

Let’s take a look at the teams in order of the standings and how each performed in the first conference matches. 

 

Murray State

The Racers are one of three OVC teams to start the conference season 2-0. 

They won a pair of matches at home against Eastern in straight sets, outhitting the Panthers in both matches. 

Murray State still leads the OVC in kills per set and hitting percentage and ranks second in the nation in kills per set. As a team, the Racers lead the nation with 14.9 kills per set. 

 

Austin Peay

The Governors also started 2-0 this season, winning a pair of home matches against Morehead State. 

They won the first match 3-2 and the second 3-1. 

Austin Peay is tied for second in the OVC with a .202 hitting percentage this season and rank fifth with 12.37 kills per set. 

 

Tennessee Tech

The Golden Eagles are the final unbeaten OVC team after the opening conference matches. 

They went on the road and beat Southern Illinois-Edwardsville twice, by scores of 3-0 and 3-1. 

The Golden Eagles are in the middle of the pack statistically, at least offensively, but lead the conference in blocks per set. 

 

Belmont

The Bruins entered conference play on an eight-match losing streak, but have started conference play 2-1. 

They beat Tennessee State in a midweek opener and then split a pair of matches with Tennessee-Martin, winning 3-1 and losing 3-0. 

The Bruins still rank near the bottom of the conference statistically due to their slow start, but are now among the conference’s top teams in the standings. 

 

Southeast Missouri

The Redhawks are one of two teams with a 1-1 record in the conference. 

They split a pair of road matches against Tennessee State, winning 3-2 and then losing 3-1. 

They have one of the conference’s top offensive players in Laney Malloy, who ranks third in the conference with 4 kills per set. 

 

Tennessee-Martin

The Skyhawks are also 1-1 this season after splitting a pair of matches against Belmont.

They started the season slow but have now won four of their last five matches overall, with all four wins coming in straight sets. 

 

Tennessee State 

After a blistering start in nonconference play, the Tigers dropped their conference opener to Belmont, which had the worst nonconference record. 

They then lost again to Southeast Missouri before winning the second match against the Redhawks. 

The Tigers still rank second in the conference and fourth in the nation in kills per set. 

 

Eastern 

The Panthers dropped a pair of matches to Murray State to extend their season-long losing streak to four matches, which also equals their longest winning streak this season. 

The Panthers are the top serving team in the OVC, averaging 2.07 service aces per set. 

 

Morehead State

The Eagles dropped a pair of matches to Austin Peay to fall to 0-2.

They have one of the top offensive players in the OVC in outside hitter Olivia Lohmeier, who ranks second in the conference with 4.49 kills per set. 

 

Southern Illinois-Edwardsville

The Cougars have the worst overall record in the conference at 3-10 after losing two conference matches to Tennessee Tech. 

They have the fewest kills per set in the OVC with 10.45. 

 

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