STARTING UNDEFEATED

Jenny Rohl/The News Junior Emily Schmahl digs for a ball during practice in Racer Arena. The Racers are undefeated in tournament play and are looking forward to the start of regular season.
Jenny Rohl/The News Junior Emily Schmahl digs for a ball during practice in Racer Arena. The Racers are undefeated in tournament play and are looking forward to the start of regular season.

Jenny Rohl/The News Junior Emily Schmahl digs for a ball during practice in Racer Arena. The Racers are undefeated in tournament play and are looking forward to the start of regular season.

Racer volleyball had another successful weekend at the Chattanooga Classic tournament, going 3-0 by sweeping Mississippi Valley and Wright State and ultimately defeating Chattanooga 3-2.

The Racers began the tournament with a strong comeback against Mississippi Valley after their opponent took an 11-10 lead. The Racers responded by scoring ten points, answered by just one Mississippi Valley point. The Racers took the set 25-14.

The Racers looked commanding in the following two sets, never giving up the lead, and winning the second set 25-7. After giving up the first initial point in the third set, the Racers went up 10-1. They only allowed nine more points the entire set, and won the game 25-10.

Junior middle blocker Alyssa Leim led the team with 10 kills, and sophomore outside hitter Kamille Jones’s added nine. Individual success continued with junior outside hitter Emily Schmahl and freshman outside hitter Kaitlyn Embrey adding 15 and 12 digs, respectively.

Head Coach David Schwepker was impressed with his team’s performance.

“Honestly, we never stress about individual stuff,” he said. “Everything is for the team, and they went out and played hard and that’s a good team morale booster. Shows me that we have a lot of depth on the team.”

Murray State started the first set against Wright State down 11-9. The Racers responded by taking the next six points and going up 15-11. The squad surrendered only one more point and won the set 25-15. The Racers took an early lead against Wright State during the second set and did not let go, eventually winning 25-12. The third set was closer after the Racers went up 9-2. Wright State cut the lead to 13-10, however, Murray State sealed the set at 25-18.

“Wright State came out strong and they did a good job, but our girls did the same,” Schwepker said. “I feel like we just stayed doing what we were supposed to be doing.”

The Racers defeated the host, Chattanooga, 3-2 in the final game to win the tournament. The first set began close with Chattanooga taking a 10-8 lead. After struggling to gain the advantage, Chattanooga took the set 25-23. The second set began with Murray State taking a 15-12 lead, but the Chattanooga Mocs tied the set at 15-15. The Racers only surrendered one point and regained the lead 20-16. They took the set 25-19. The third set was back and forth until the Mocs prevailed 27-25. The fourth set was when the Racers began to take control, they took the first six points and didn’t let go. They gained a 22-8 lead, sealing the set at 25-14. The final set was back and forth until the Racers capitalized on a kill from Leim to take the game 17-15.

“(Chattanooga) played really well, and we played really well,” Schwepker said. “It was a good win for us.”

The Racers travel to Valparaiso for their final invitational before regular season today. A successful weekend will continue their undefeated run and carry them into OVC play.

Murray has not played Valparaiso since 2011, and the Crusaders have enjoyed an equally successful preseason, sweeping their opponents last weekend.

 

Story by Logan Burnett, Contributing writer