Murray State athletics have been busy so far this semester.
While Homecoming may be celebrated with football, there has been no shortage of accomplishments from the other student athletes that wear the blue and gold. From setting school records to bringing home victories, Murray State athletics has been adding to its record books.
Murray State football is off to a 4-3 start to the season, hosting rival Austin Peay this weekend. The Racers have had their share of close games, with three being decided by less than a touchdown.
The team is led by preseason All-OVC senior wide receiver Walter Powell. Powell is contending for the Walter Payton Award, given to the top football player in the FCS.
The volleyball team started in record fashion, earning three preseason championships and a program record of 10 nonconference match victories.
Senior Katlyn Hudson became the 15th player in Murray State history to record 1,000 career digs.
On another court, the men’s and women’s tennis teams have been racking up their own wins.
In two tournaments, the women have had nine finalists – with six claiming victories.
Andrea Eskauriatza and Eleonore Tchakarova each made two championship appearances in each tournament they have competed in so far this season.
Men’s tennis has been highlighted by senior Adam Taylor who competed at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American Championships, one of the nation’s largest collegiate tennis tournaments in September.
While the diamond is usually reserved for the spring, the softball team christened its new field with a perfect 8-0 record this fall.
The team outscored its opponents 51 to 10 and were led by sophomore Shelby Miller who batted .519. Softball returns to action in the spring when it travels to the Tiger Classic hosted by Louisiana State.
Murray State golf has had strong showings by both teams this year. On the women’s side, the season opened with a first-place finish in the Drake Creek Invitational at Drake Creek Golf Club in Ledbetter, Ky. Senior Delaney Howson earned OVC Golfer of the Week after shooting a school record 5-under-par in the second round of the tournament.
On the men’s side, the team has finished third in its first four tournaments. Junior Jordan Smith and sophomore Preston French have turned in solid outings. French won the Murray State Invitational with a 6-under-par, earning him OVC Golfer of the Week.
Racer Rifle opened its season at the Ole Miss Invitational, placing fourth in the 10-team field, with the second highest team score in air rifle.
Freshman Jack Berhorst led the team in the smallbore competition with a score of 576.
Second-team All-American Kelsey Emme led the team with an aggregate score of 1160.
The team is ranked 11th in the NCAA and hosts its first home event Sunday.
Cross-country has had a busy fall, running in four events in three different states. Both squads earned perfect scores against OVC foes at the Belmont Opener.
The women’s team finished second and third at two contests in Illinois. The men’s team has been led by sophomore Cole Cisneros, who was named the OVC Runner of the Week in late September.
Soccer began the season with its best start in program history, and is in the midst of OVC play.
Junior Julie Mooney leads the Racers with seven goals and five assists.
After it four-game unbeaten streak was snapped, the team ran into a rough patch and sits 11th in the conference, where the top six teams will make the OVC tournament.
While fall sports near the end of their schedules, other winter programs are set to begin their own seasons.
Story by Tom Via, Staff Writer