Story by Alicia Steele, staff writer
The Racers began their OVC title defense with a 3-0 sweep over the eighth seeded Southeast Missouri State Redhawks Thursday night in Racer Arena.
The Racers swept SEMO winning the first set 25-16, the second set 25-19, and the third set 25-17. The team ended the match with 41 kills, 16 errors, 91 total attacks and a .275 hitting percentage.
Scottie Ingram, junior from Solsberry, Indiana, and Olivia Chatman, sophomore from Richmond, Texas, led the team this match. Ingram, with 12 kills, 3 errors, 27 total attacks and a .333 hitting average, scored the team 14 total points. Chatman, with a season high of 8 kills in one match, also had 0 errors, 11 total attacks and a .727 hitting average, scored the team 10 total points.
“SEMO is a great team,” Chatman said. “Every time they come here they give us their best and I think we play them really well.”
Chatman said she does believe that the other teams in the OVC are “hunting” the Racers, because of their first seed spot. She said the team will definitely have to bring all they have to their game against Tennessee State on Friday.
“I think we actually came together really well,” Ingram said. “Last time we played SEMO we were a little iffy in the beginning so I’m glad we all came together.”
Ingram said defending the Racer’s title is important in every match, but since Racer Arena is their home court, it’s even more important to win because they don’t want any other team coming in and taking a win from them at home. This win marks the 20th straight win on their home court.
Ingram agreed that the Racers are being “hunted” because of their number one seed in the conference, but believes they can pull off a win from Tennessee State.
“Hopefully we just come out stronger than they do,” Ingram said.
Head Coach David Schwepker said the team always focuses on what’s going on during that game, at that time. He said they don’t think about getting the win, they just focus on the game going on.
He said the team takes pride in being in Racer Arena, and the crowd gets them fired up and ready to play.
“We’re very happy to get that win under our belt, and just get prepared for Tennessee State,” Schwepker said.
The Racers return to Racer Arena Friday night to face No. 4 seeded Tennessee State.