Story by Keenan Hall, Staff Writer
Murray State volleyball is on its last stretch of nonconference tournaments this weekend before gearing up for the start of conference play.
The Racers are headed to the heart of the SEC this weekend to contend in the Crimson-White Tournament in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The schools invited to compete in this year’s Crimson-White Tournament were Troy University and Southern University. The University of Alabama is hosting the event.
The Racers will head into the weekend 6-3, looking to rebound from a two-game losing streak. Murray State is currently sitting in fifth place in the OVC. Troy is currently sitting at 4-7 early on.
The Trojans are balanced in terms of the experience level on their team, and it could be a factor in their matchup with the Racers. Troy has three seniors and two juniors. Murray State is coming in aiming to recover momentum lost in the CEFCU Classic against Troy.
The Trojans average 12.6 kills a set compared to the Racers’ 12.8. Troy’s senior outside hitter Lauren Long leads her team, averaging .260 kills per set. Sophomore outside hitter Rachel Giustino leads the Racers averaging 5.06 kills per set.
Alabama sits at 7-2 on the season coming into the tournament. A few weeks ago the Crimson Tide were bested in three sets by 25th-ranked Purdue University. Alabama’s only other loss came at the hands of the University of Southern Missouri.
Southern University is the third matchup for the Racers in the Crimson-White Tournament. The Jaguars have yet to win a match this season. They are 0-7.
Murray State Head Coach David Schwepker said he plans to devote the week leading up to the tournament fine-tuning their game.
“I would hope that we are going to fix some things this week and see if we can implement them, and if we can, I would like to see that improvement,” Schwepker said. “Then hopefully be ready for conference play.”
The Racers play Troy at 12 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 15 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.