Volleyball team heads to SEMO for weekend matches


Han Byer

Number 15 Giovana Larregui Lopez, a junior outside hitter, spikes the ball during the volleyball game against the University of Arkansas- Little Rock Trojans at Lantz Arena Saturday afternoon, Oct. 1, 2022. Lopez had 3 spikes, 8 kills and scored 10.5 points. The Panthers won 3-0 to the Trojans.

Autumn Schulz, Sports Editor

The Eastern volleyball team will be on the road this weekend to take on third place OVC opponent Southeast Missouri in a two-match series.  

The first match will be on Friday at 6 p.m. and then Saturday at 7 p.m.  

The Panthers are currently 10-8 overall and 4-1 in conference, tying for first place with UT Martin. By this time last season, the Panthers were 0-5 in conference play. 

A large part of the turnaround for the Panthers this season has been because of the talent that is utilized at all positions on the team. 

Sophomore outside hitter Kaitlyn Flynn has had a vital return for the Panthers as she remains at the top of the OVC standings with 4.30 kills per set. Flynn has 185 kills for the season, last season, she only posted 42 kills total.  

Flynn’s performance this season also earned her OVC Player of the Week after posting 59 kills in three matches. Against Southern Indiana, Flynn managed to put down 27 kills, her second most for the season. 

Freshman setter Catalina Rochaix also earned OVC Player of the Week honors as she posted 78 assists last week. 

Junior outside hitter Giovana Larregui Lopez also continues to be strong at the net for the Panthers this season as she has put down 159 kills this season with an average of 3.38 per set. 

Freshman outside hitter Lilli Amettis has been a great edition for the Panthers this season as she has been solid off the bench with 84 kills this season. 

Defensively, the Panthers rely on junior libero Christina Martinez Mundo. Mundo leads the OVC in digs per set with 5.47 and in total digs with 361. Mundo has gotten better each season she has been with the Panthers as in 2020, she had 196 digs, and then in 2021, she had 279. 

Mundo’s performance this season has earned her third place in the NCAA in total digs and eighth in digs per set. The Panthers, as a team, are first in the OVC with 1,018 digs this season. 

The Redhawks are led by Zoey Beasley, who has 189 kills this season, ranking fourth in the OVC with an average of 3.11 kills per set. The Panthers should also look out for Izzy Lukens, who has 20 service aces this season. 

Tara Beilsmith has 357 digs this season, second behind Mundo in the OVC for total digs. She is fourth in the NCAA in digs per set and fifth in total digs. 

The Panthers will be back in Lantz Arena next Friday for a double-header against UT Martin. 

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