The Racers continued their undefeated home streak and started their OVC season strong over the last two weeks.
The team went 3-1 with home victories against Southeast Missouri State, UT Martin and Eastern Kentucky and just one road loss to Austin Peay.
Head Coach David Schwepker said the women have gotten used to winning, and the support of the crowd at home games is helping their morale.
“This year the girls are ready for the crowd, and they know what to expect,” Schwepker said. “Being at home means they know the floor, the lights and the atmosphere. All these contribute to doing well.”
The Racers (12-4, 3-1 OVC) defeated Eastern Kentucky last weekend at home. It was a typical OVC match-up as the teams traded points back and forth the whole game.
The Racers won in four sets. They took the first set 25-20, then fell 22-25, before winning p with a 25-16 and rounding out the fourth set 26-24.
Sophomore Scottie Ingram had a career high of 24 kills and a personal record 34 kills for the week, with 10 in the loss to Austin Peay.
“It feels really good to transition from last year to now,” Ingram said. “We are working well as a team and contributing to the overall performance as a team.”
Sophomore Ellie Lorenz was one dig away from meeting her record high of 24. Her outlook for the season is as positive as the rest of the team’s.
“I feel really confident,” Lorenz said. “Everyone wants to win. We don’t have anyone who is just playing, every girl is playing to do their best and win.”
Coming back from three losses at the Valparaiso Tournament Sept. 19-20, the Racers played SEMO on Sept. 26 at home with scores of 26-14 in the first match, 25-20 in the second and 25-21 to take the third set.
“I wanted to see how they would rebound,” Schwepker said. “We all talked and had good practices, and I was very happy with how they came out of the weekend.”
Ingram said the win was just what the team needed after a three-set loss at Valparaiso.
“I am glad we came back strong,” Ingram said. “OVC is looking promising to us. We are still learning and there is always room for improvement.”
But she said the team is aiming to win the OVC.
After playing SEMO, the Racers matched up against UT Martin on Sept. 17 at home. The Racers won in four sets, playing 25-21 in the first set, 26-24 in the second but falling 25-23 in the third set before winning the fourth set 25-15.
“I believe the girls had high hopes and were feeling confident about their win the previous day,” Schwepker said. “I am glad they were able to come back from the previous week and stay strong.”
Following the previous weekend wins at home, the Racers lost to Austin Peay in Clarksville, Tenn.
The Racers play Saturday in Charleston, Ill., at Eastern Illinois. The Panthers fell to 7-10 and 1-3 in the OVC after a five-set loss last week to Belmont. And on Sunday the Racers play SIU Edwardsville in Edwardsville, Ill. The Cougars also lost their last match last week and are winless in the OVC and 8-11 overall.
Story by Kelsey Randolph, Staff writer