Story by Bryan Edwards, Contributing writer
The Racer volleyball team traveled to Fort Wayne, Indiana to open their 2016 campaign, where they competed against three other teams in the Fort Wayne Invitational. The Racers, led by returning OVC Player of the Year Scottie Ingram, were looking to start the season strong and keep the winning going.
The Racers’ first match was on Friday against tournament host Fort Wayne. After dropping the first set 25-13, the Racers took over and never looked back, winning the contest three sets to one.
Ingram led the way with 22 kills, bringing two aces and three blocks to the stat sheet as well. Courtney Radle, freshman from St. Louis, also contributed with a team high 39 assists, while Ellie Lorenz, senior from St. Louis, led the way with 22 digs.
The team kept their edge heading into Saturday’s two matches, squaring off against Ball State in the morning match. The Racers were in a 2-1 hole after dropping sets two and three, but their will to win pushed them on with a dominant rally in the last two sets, ultimately winning the match three sets to two.
Ingram led the team in kills for the second straight game with 30, Radle recorded a team high 44 assists and Lorenz had the team high 30 digs. The trio of Ingram, Radle and Lorenz has been dominant for Murray State throughout the invitational, and if the three can continue this play through the season, the Racers will be a difficult team to beat this year.
After a hard fought five set win against Ball State, Murray State played their second game of the day against Youngstown State. The two teams traded the first two sets. Youngstown State jumped out to a 20-10 lead in the third set, but the Racers didn’t falter, and ended up tying the score at 24. Despite the huge comeback effort, the Racers lost the set 28-26. With their backs against the wall, the Racers won the fourth set 25-19. With a huge amount of confidence, the Racers entered the fifth and final set of the match. After going down 1-4 early, the Racers outscored their opponents 14-4 in the final 18 points to take the match.
For the third straight game, the Racers trailed in the match, but their will to win helped them come back and take the win. The Racers were once again led by the trio of Ingram (22 kills), Radle (42 assists) and Lorenz (19 digs). The Racers walked into Fort Wayne wanting to make a statement, and walked out with three victories.
The Racers’ next game will be at 1 p.m. Sept. 2, when they travel to Eugene, Oregon to play the University of Oregon in the Oregon Tournament.