The Racer volleyball team earned an impressive win at their last game of the season against Eastern Kentucky at home.
Murray State took the Colonels to five sets before claiming the 3-2 win. Head Coach David Schwepker said the ambitious win was a perfect ending to the season.
“This was a really good win for our seniors,” Schwepker said. “We’re still learning but these girls have improved dramatically this season.”
Team captain Lydia Orf, senior libero, said she was pleased with how the Racers defeated the Colonels.
“This is the best thing I could ask for,” Orf said. “Not many people get to go out on a win.”
The first set of the game was close between the Racers and Colonels. Murray State fought for every point with Eastern Kentucky, leading at several points in the set. Finally, the Colonels closed out the frame 21-25.
Murray State intended to destroy the Colonels in the second and third frames, kicking the second off with a 10-4 run. Wendi Zickfield, senior outside hitter, hit the ball consistently and notched several kills for the Racers.
After a strong kill, Zickfield returned in the very next play with a block assist to score another point.
“When I saw her warming up I knew she would play well,” Schwepker said. “I could tell she was in the zone tonight.”
In the third set, senior setter Molly Goodrich saved several plays defensively, something Schwepker said was not typical for her.
“Molly doesn’t usually play good defense, but I think tonight she played well,” Schwepker said. “She set and distributed the ball well and kept her composure.”
The Racers took the second set 25-13 and the third 25-15. In the fourth frame, Murray State stayed behind the Colonels and could not seem to recover from their lead. Eastern Kentucky took the set 25-19.
Murray State had to reach 15 points in the fifth set to claim the match. Like the first frame, the two contenders were extremely close. After tying several times late in the set, the Racers took the frame 16-14.
“They picked up on us and we came back,” Schwepker said. “As the game goes on, you see the patterns a team has and we had to put a stop to it.”
The Racers had their highest hitting percentage in the first set at .351. Zickfield had the most kills with 17 for the match and freshman outside hitter Emily Schmahl followed close behind with 16. Schwepker said Schmahl was a strong component on the front row during the match.
“(Schmahl) has always been capable,” Schwepker said. “We need to see that more in our younger players.”
Schwepker said the ambition the girls have had toward the end of the season gives him high hopes for next year.
“We have a lot of positives going on for next season,” Schwepker said. “We have a lot of players coming back.”
Orf said the freshmen will be a strong component of next season’s team.
“The freshmen have really been able to keep their composure,” Orf said. “I think they’ll be very successful next season. They’ll be a year older and I think they’ll know how to handle themselves.”
The Racers ended the 2012-13 season with a 6-20 overall record and 4-12 in the Ohio Valley Conference.
Story by Lexy Gross, Staff writer.