Volleyball takes champion title at Liberty Invite

Lori Allen/The News Taylor Olden spikes the ball during a home game last season against Morehead State.
Lori Allen/The News Taylor Olden spikes the ball during a home game last season against Morehead State.

Lori Allen/The News
Taylor Olden spikes the ball during a home game last season against Morehead State.

Racer volleyball continued its successful start to the season last weekend at the Liberty Invitational in Lynchburg, Va.

The team took the tournament after defeating University of South Carolina Upstate and Howard University.

Head Coach David Schwepker said although the women took the champion title in the tournament, there are improvements to be made.

In game one of the invitational, Murray defeated USC Upstate 3-0.

The first set was a back and forth affair between the two sides, after the Spartans took an initial 6-4 lead. It took an ace from Racer sophomore Scottie Ingram, an outside hitter, to take the lead 23-22 and ultimately win the set.

The Racers took an early lead in the second set, and despite a comeback attempt from the Spartans, took the match 25-19. The final match was quickly won by the Racers after securing and early lead. They won the final set 25-11.

In the final game of the invitational, the Racers played Howard University. Though they ultimately won the first set, it started close until the Racers gained a 16-9 lead.

Murray State won the first set 25-18. The second set was equally cagey, with the two teams exchanging points until the Racers were able to close it 25-21.

The third set started closer with Howard taking a 14-13 lead. However, Murray took the next 9 points and the lead, closing the set at 25-17.

Schwepker said he was happy with the team’s performance and that they did a great job adapting to the opposition’s game.

The team enjoyed some success on the individual level as well.

Taylor Olden, junior outside hitter, was named Tournament MVP.

“I’m smart as a hitter, I’m not your average six-foot outside hitter,” Olden said.

At 5 feet 7 inches tall, Olden is an exception to the usual size of collegiate outside hitter.

Additionally, both Scottie Ingram and Kristen Besselsen were named to the All-Tournament team.

The Racers are travelling to Chattanooga today for its second to last invitational before regular season play. When asked who the biggest opposition is this weekend Schwepker named Chattanooga, but also stated that every team has equal chance in the tournament.

“We play Mississippi Valley State first,” Schwepker said, “All we’re concerned about is Mississippi Valley State.”

Regular season play begins Sept. 26 against Southeast Missouri and Schwepker said he wants to treat it as another game of the season.

“We’re really trying not to think about that any differently,” Coach Scwepker said, “It’s no more important than this Friday night.”

After this weekend at the Chattanooga Classic, the Racers have one final tournament at Valparaiso University before kicking off OVC play.

 

Story by Logan Burnett, Contributing writer, and Lexy Gross, Editor-in-Chief