Murray State earns 11th sweep of the season
Story by Blake Bernier, Staff writer
With the 11th sweep of the season, the Racers (14-1, 4-0) defeated the Austin Peay State Lady Govs (5-14, 0-4) on Wednesday at Racer Arena 25-16, 25-21, 27-25.
The win pushed the Racers winning streak to 11 with four straight conference sweeps and extended the home winning streak to 12 after they went 11-0 at home last season.
With the sweep on the line, the Racers trailed 21-16 in the third set leading Head Coach Dave Schwepker to call the first Racer timeout of the match.
“He told us we need to keep pushing,” Senior Alyssa Lelm said. “We had a job to do and we needed to keep going.”
The Racers closed the deficit and tied Austin Peay at 24, forcing Lady Govs Head Coach Taylor Mott to use a timeout. Lelm contributed eight kills in the final set to keep the Racers in contention in the third set.
“I tell Sam just to get it to me and I will find a way to get it down,” Lelm said.
A quick exchange of points pushed the score to 25-25 and then the Racers stepped up the pressure. Diving digs by senior setter Sam Bedard and junior Hannah Stultz swung the momentum in the direction of the Racers and freshman Dacia Brown converted her only kill attempt of the night to take the lead.
“We realized that if we didn’t push and didn’t get those kills and get those digs we weren’t going to be able to win,” junior Ellie Lorenz said. “So we just fought through it.”
Both Lorenz and Lelm contributed their team success to practicing like they want to play.
Lelm said scrimmaging really help them out in the game because they come back from down 10 points in practice so they know what it’s like to comeback and face adversity.
On the next attack from Austin Peay, senior Samantha Strother airmailed a spike and the crowd of more than 700 erupted.
“A lot of teams will get in that third set and if we’ve played them pretty tough they back down and Austin Peay wouldn’t back down,” Schwepker said.
Lelm, junior Kristen Besselsen and junior Scottie Ingram each recorded double-digit kills with many of those kills coming off of assists by Bedard. Bedard finished with 45 assists and her ninth double-double of the season.
In the first set the Racers jumped out to a 13-5 lead behind a six-point run with senior Taylor Olden serving and they never looked back. With the score 22-16, the Racers rallied off three straight points ending with a Bedard ace, one of the teams six on the night.
Austin Peay came out more competitive in the second set and trailed 19-18 before the Racers rattled off four consecutive points and extend their lead. Ingram finished the set with her fourth kill of the set, hitting the ball off of the block attempt by Austin Peay senior Aubrey Marsellis.
The next match is 7 p.m. Friday at home against Eastern Illinois, Schwepker said Eastern Illinois is one of the top teams in the conference with strong talent.
“We will work on all of their problems tomorrow,” Schwepker said. “They’ve got a lot of things they’ve got to clean up and a lot of things we need to work on.”