Conference play nearing for OVC volleyball teams

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Rob Le Cates

Head Volleyball Coach Sara Thomas talks to players about what to work on during volleyball practice Tuesday afternoon at Lantz Arena.

Autumn Schulz, Sports Editor

After a month of nonconference play, the volleyball teams of the OVC will start conference play in five days as teams are finding mixed success. 

The first match will be Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. between Tennesse State and UT Martin who have found mixed success in nonconference play. 

The Tigers are 2-7 overall and are currently in ninth place in the OVC. They are eighth in the conference in assists with 322, averaging 10.06 per set. They are fifth in digs with 463, averaging 14.47 per set. 

Senior outside hitter Johanna Alcantara leads the conference in kills with 116. Graduate student libero Gina Rivera-Ortiz is third in the conference for digs with 138, averaging 4.60 per set. 

The Tigers are coming off a 3-0 loss at the Cal Tournament where they faced Nevada, California, and Utah Tech. The Tigers jumped out to a two-set lead over the Trailblazers in their last match of the tournament but could not hold on as they lost 3-2.  

Alcantara had 19 kills against the Trailblazers with a .306 hitting percentage. Her performance earned her a spot on the All-Tournament team. Celestial Miller added 11 kills while Kennedy Davis added 10. Rivera-Ortiz finished the match with 36 digs and Alondrah Santana-Rodriguez added six blocks to help defensively.  

The Skyhawks are leading the conference with a 6-4 overall record. They are coming off a 2-1 weekend at the Blue Raider Invitational where they faced former conference member Belmont in match one and Gambling State in match two, wrapping up the weekend playing Middle Tennessee. 

Against Middle Tennessee, senior setter Haeleigh Paulino had a season-high of 40 assists while Karen Scanlon collected 17 kills on a .517 hitting percentage. Logan Wallick added 13 kills and Kambree Lucas added 11 and three service aces.  

Paulino is fifth in the conference in assists with 261, averaging 7.05 per set. She is also third in the conference in service aces with 17.  

 On Friday Sept. 23, there will be five OVC matchups with Lindenwood and Morehead State slated for the first matchup. 

The Lions are third in the conference with a 3-3 overall record. They currently lead the conference with a .214 hitting percentage and are second with 266 kills, averaging 12.67 per set.  

The Lions are coming off a 1-3 weekend at the Wildcat Classic where they faced off against New Mexico State University, Davidson College and North Carolina A&T State University. The only win for the Lions came against North Carolina. 

Madilyn Dement was named to the All-Tournament Team after posting 17 kills and two service aces. Abby VanBuskirk posted 51 assists during the five-set match while Nyah Wilson posted 18 digs and three service aces.  

The Eagles are 3-5 overall and in sixth place in the OVC. The Eagles are also coming off a 1-3 weekend at the Comfort Inn-Vitational where they faced Quinnipac, Robert Morris, and North Alabama. In the last match of the weekend, Abby Hulsman had 10 kills and 10 digs, Maycie Welborn had 10 kills, Shea Hefner had 13 digs. 

The Eagles are fourth in the conference with a .191 hitting percentage and fourth in the conference with 337 kills.  

Southern Indiana will face off against Tennessee Tech. The Screaming Eagles are 0-9 overall and are in last place in the conference. Their most recent loss was to Duquesne University where the team posted 43 kills, four aces, and 34 assists to go along with 10 blocks and 47 digs. 

Leah Anderson was named to the All-Tournament Team after posting 14 kills. Katherine Koch led the assist game for the Screaming Eagles with 22.  

The Golden Eagles are 3-6 overall and are in seventh place in the OVC. The Golden Eagles are coming off a 2-1 weekend at the Bobcat Invitational. The Golden Eagles were led by middle blocker Skylar Boom who posted 15 kills and four blocks. Madolyn Isringhausen delivered 16 kills, nine 9 digs and three service aces. 

The Golden Eagles are third in the conference for hitting percentage with .197. They are third in the conference with 419 assists, averaging 11.64 per set. Isringhausen is sixth in the conference with 112 kills. Jordan Karlen is third in the conference with 267 assists.  

The Skyhawks will continue their conference play against Little Rock. The Trojans are in eighth place in the OVC with a 2-7 overall record. They are coming off a 0-3 loss at the Arkansas Invitational. 

The Trojans are led by Nedima Kamberovic who has 71 kills this season. Sophia Reynolds has 143 assists to lead the Trojans while defensively, Livia Kimura leads the team with 99 digs. 

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will take on Eastern Illinois for the fourth matchup. The Cougars are in second place with a record of 4-4. The Panthers are in fourth place with a 5-6 record. 

The Cougars are fifth in the conference with a .190 hitting percentage while the Panthers are seventh with a .149. The Cougars are in third place with 387 kills and the Panthers are in sixth place with 460. 

Panther Giovana Larregui-Lopez is second in the conference with 91 kills while Savannah Christian is in seventh with 96. Cougar Caroline Waite is in sixth place with 205 assists and Panther Catalina-Rochaix is in seventh with 203. Panther Christina Martinez Mundo is second in the conference in digs with 208. 

The Tigers and Southeast Missouri will finish out the first round of OVC play.  

The Redhawks are in fifth place with a 4-5 record. The Redhawks are sixth in the conference with .167 hitting percentage and they are seventh with 330 assists. They are first in the conference in blocks with 109, averaging 2.21 per set.  

Autumn Schulz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]