Volleyball sees 13 win streak, set to face Belmont

Zachary Maley/The News
Senior Taylor Olden drives the ball into Austin Peay’s court during their home opener Wednesday, Oct. 7 in Racer Arena.Zachary Maley/The News Senior Taylor Olden drives the ball into Austin Peay’s court during their home opener Wednesday, Oct. 7 in Racer Arena.

Story by Kelsey RandolphSports Editor

Zachary Maley/The News Senior Taylor Olden drives the ball into Austin Peay’s court during their home opener Wednesday, Oct. 7 in Racer Arena.

Zachary Maley/The News
Senior Taylor Olden drives the ball into Austin Peay’s court during their home opener Wednesday, Oct. 7 in Racer Arena.

The Racer volleyball team opened home conference play against Austin Peay State and won, which continues their win streak to 11.

Over the weekend, the Racers played Eastern Illinois and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and swept them both improving their streak to 13 and a 16-1 season.

With a record like the Racers, the team is seeing numerous honors and awards like senior setter, Sam Bedard who has received her fifth ADIDAS OVC Setter of the Week and averaged 3.5 digs per set over the weekend recording a double-double and leading the team in service aces making four.

Along with Bedard’s honors, junior libero Ellie Lorenz has recorded 1,000 digs and is the 16th Racer to see this honor. Though many of the Racers are seeing personal records and honors, Head Coach David Schwepker doesn’t believe those should be the focus.

“We don’t talk about the awards and it’s nice to get them but the bottom line is it’s great to get them but sometimes if that’s all you’re working for it’s difficult,” Schwepker said. “Especially the weekly awards we don’t vote on. Anyone can vote on those. If it’s something you can control then go for it but if it’s something you can’t control then you got to let that go. We try to stay humble and understand that we don’t have that control.”

Previously the Racers are saw 18 winning sets in a row and 13 swept games for the season. In 2014 the Racers had a 26-6 season with 18 sweeps overall.

Lorenz said she attributes the winning conference thus far to the hard work in practice along with their game-like drills that prepare them what she says both mentally and physically.

“The environment in Racer Arena is awesome when we play,” Lorenz said. “But overall we really don’t let the atmosphere affect us when we play.”

On Friday the Racers take on their biggest competition, the Belmont Bruins, 5-1 in the OVC and 8-9 overall and who the Racers faced in the OVC Championship. On Saturday the Racers match against Tennessee State, 4-2 in the OVC and 9-9 overall.

Both Lorenz and Schwepker said they look forward to facing tough competition and will not focus on anything that happened in the 2014 OVC Championship.

“The thing about this team and the reason I think they are successful is because they want to play good competition, they like it and they get pumped up,” Schwepker said. “They want to see what they can do against these teams. They’ll be ready and we got to get out there and play.”

The Racers host Belmont at 7 p.m. Friday in Racer Arena and Tennessee State at 2 p.m. Saturday.  Friday’s game will be a “glow out” game where fans are encouraged to wear white or neon. Fans will be given glow sticks along with other giveaways.

“The fans really help us,” Schwepker said. “The girls love to have people there and to see that kind of support hypes everyone up. We always want to have as many people in the stands are possible.”