Story by Bryan Edwards, Contributing writer
The Murray State women’s volleyball team suited up for their last tournament before heading into OVC play. The Racers traveled to St. Louis to compete in the Billiken Invitational tournament. Much like the majority of their tournaments this season, the team played one game on Friday and two on Saturday, the first of which was against the tournament hosts, the St. Louis Billikens.
The Racers finished the first set by closing the Billikens out of the set on a 14-7 run to take the lead in the match early. They later would add another set to their cushion, leading their opponents two sets to none going into the third set.
The Billikens would fight back winning the third and fourth sets tying the match at two sets. The Racers found themselves down 5-7 in the fifth set, but went on a 10-3 run to secure the team’s fifth victory on the season.
Audrey Lewis, redshirt senior and Columbus, Indiana, native led the Racer attack with 13 kills for the match. Not far behind was Rachel Giustino, freshman outside hitter, and Scottie Ingram, senior outside hitter, with 12 kills each. Hannah Stultz, senior setter finished the match with a team high 28 assists. Stultz also notched her first double-double of the season with 12 digs.
The Racers began their day on Saturday against the University of Illinois. The Racers fell quickly to the Illini in straight sets.
The Racers were outhit by Illinois .483 to .135, and committed 20 errors to five from Illinois. Giustino was the only Racer to reach double digits in kills for the match with 13, while Stultz and Courtney Radle, freshman setter, had the team highs in assists with 14 each.
The team would then close out their tournament against the University of Omaha. The two teams would trade the first four sets, leaving the game up to the fifth and final set, where the Racers could not come out with a win, losing set five 14-16.
The Racers outhit Omaha .159 to .138, but also committed 31 errors in the process. Ingram led the team with 20 kills, notching another double-double with 22 digs as well. Stults led the team in assists with 34.
The Racers (5-7) will open OVC play at 7 p.m. on Sept. 23 in Racer Arena against UT Martin for their home opener.