Volleyball shuts down Eastern Illinois, inches closer to third-straight OVC title

Story by Bryan Edwards, contributing writer

With a 13-1 record in the OVC, the Murray State women’s volleyball team entered the last weekend of the regular season with an opportunity to clinch the OVC championship for the third year in a row.

The Racers improved their chances of another OVC championship by beating the Panthers of Eastern Illinois in the final three sets (25-21, 26-24, 25-12).

Murray State opened the contest with the first four points, but Eastern Illinois took over with a 15-4 run to take a 15-8 lead. The Racers went on an 8-2 run of their own to bring the score to 17-15 in favor of the Panthers. The Racers were the first team to reach set point, but the Panthers recovered and won the set 29-27.

The Racers forced seven early errors to take the lead in the second set 16-10. Following an Eastern Illinois timeout, the Panthers clawed back within striking distance, cutting the Racers’ lead to three at 23-20. Ultimately, the Racers took set two 25-21 after a kill from redshirt sophomore Dacia Brown.

The Racers and the Panthers went back and forth for the majority of the third set, but the Panthers got an edge late in the set with a 22-18 lead. The Racers made a comeback and won the set 26-24 after going on an 8-2 run.

The Racers jumped out very early to a 15-5 lead and dominated the fourth set 25-12, taking the match three sets to one.

Senior outside hitter Scottie Ingram recorded her 19th double-double of the season with 22 kills and 17 digs. Senior setter Hannah Stultz posted 58 assists, totaling 174 assists in the last three games. Senior libero Ellie Lorenz led the team with 21 digs.

The Racers play again at 7 p.m. Saturday against the Cougars of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in Racer Arena.