It’s official: APSU has Murray State’s number when it comes to volleyball.
Coming into Tuesday’s meeting between the two undefeated teams in conference play, the Lady Govs had won the last nine meetings. Now, with a 3-0 sweep of the Racers at the Dunn Center, you can now chalk up another victory for APSU, who left it all on the court with an energized crowd behind them.
Murray State has not beaten the Lady Govs in Clarksville since 2008, with much of that being attributed to the atmosphere. Athletes of almost every sport were on hand Tuesday as the marching band played and shouted, and the effects were noticeable beginning in the first set.
“The crowd was incredible, and that helps every single time we play,” Sammie Ebright, who recorded 14 kills in the match, said. “It feels great to win in three, especially against a great Murray squad that we played.”
A quick kill on the opening serve would get the home crowd into it, and the Lady Govs would open up a 12-7 lead as Murray State was rattled. The Racers managed to come within striking distance, but APSU rode the momentum to a 25-20 set win.
Against Southeast Missouri in the previous match, the Lady Govs (9-10, 3-0 OVC) had struggled in the second set to lose by a wide margin. It appeared as if they were headed down that path once again, but somehow, someway, they were able to pull off a remarkable comeback.
Murray State (11-4, 2-1 OVC) came back in the second to go up 20-13, until Ebright stepped up to provide an energy boost. The Lady Govs went on a six-point streak, with three kills coming from the redshirt sophomore, to eventually win the set 25-23 heading into the locker room.
“Sammie was unstoppable,” head coach Taylor Mott said. “I hope we can get that from her all the time. We weren’t trying to do anything tricky. We just kept setting her and they had a hard time stopping it.”
In the clinching set, APSU got off to another slow start with the Racers scoring the first six points. But once again, the Lady Govs fought back, scoring the next six points to knot the score. In the end, APSU scored seven of the last 10 points, taking advantage of attack errors, and Ebright sealed it with two dagger kills.
The four-game homestand for the Lady Govs ends this Saturday, Oct. 4 as Morehead State will be in town. First serve is set to take place at 2 p.m.
Photo: From R to L – Jada Stotts, Ashley Slay, and Sammie Ebright (Chris Malone/The All State)