Story by Keenan Hall, staff writer
Murray State volleyball defeated UT Martin with a sweep in its last home game of the season 25-20, 25-23 and 25-22.
The Racer duo of Rachels led the way on offense for the Racers. Holthaus scored a game-high 11 kills, Giustino added 10 kills. Murray State freshman setter Callie Anderton served 36 assists.
She’s really has a lot of experience setting and she is showing that even as a freshman. We’re really happy and fortunate she’s doing so well.
It was senior day for the only senior on the team, outside hitter Olivia Chatman. Chatman tallied six kills in the match, including two of the last kills of the day to seal the sweep. With the win over the Skyhawks, Chatman became the winningest player in Racer volleyball history.
Murray State had difficulty at the net, allowing 25 blocks from the Skyhawks frontline. However, the Racers were in control on the offensive side this time around and gave up only seven blocks.
The young Racers handled the height of the Skyhawks, tying them with seven blocks of their own. Murray State freshman middle blocker Katirah Johnson and Holthaus finished with three blocks apiece. The Racers also had three players record 12 digs.
For every scoring run UT Martin forced, Murray State responded. The Skyhawks looked out of sync throughout the match, but managed to come close to forcing a fourth set. Late in the third set, the Racers led 23-22 with possession in favor of the Skyhawks. However, back-to-back kills from Chatman ended the match and gave Chatman a senior day victory.
Coach Schwepker said the first matchup against UT Martin was historic for the wrong reason, but the win showed that his team has gotten better than they were in the earlier part of the season.
“The first time we played them we set an new NCAA record on the bad side,” Schwepker said. “This time around it showed the improvement the girls have made since early on in the season.”
Murray State advanced to 18-8 (10-4) with only two more games left in the regular season. The Racers will conclude the season on the road at Austin Peay and then Eastern Kentucky. They’ll matchup with the Governors at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 8, in Clarksville, Tennessee.