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Austin Peay off to best OVC start in program history

APSU Athletics Communications

By Cody Bush

APSU Athletics Communications

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn.  – Austin Peay senior Cecily Gable posted a career-best 24 kills, leading Austin Peay to a four-set OVC win (25-21, 26-28, 25-21, 25-20) against SIUE, Saturday, at the Dunn Center.

With the win, Austin Peay improved to 6-0 in OVC play – its best conference start in program history.

Austin Peay (16-2, 6-0 OVC) split the first two sets and found itself deep trouble early in the third set, trailing 12-6 when head coach Taylor Mott called timeout. Out of the stoppage, sophomore Jenna Panning hit a kill to give the Govs a crucial sideout and they promptly pieced together an impressive 10-0 run to take control at 16-12.

SIUE (4-14, 3-3 OVC) tried to extend the match again in the fourth, jumping out to a 6-2 lead. However, Austin Peay again pieced together a 15-4 run with Brooke Moore, Jaymenson Kinley and Gable each serving during the burst. That put the Cougars comeback on ice as the Govs held on to clinch the match.

Gable’s career outing saw her post five kills in all four sets, including a seven-kill third set, while also posting 10 digs for a double-double. Sophomore Brooke Moore chipped in a 13-kill, 13-dig outing

SIUE had three players post double-digit kill totals, Dylynn Otte leading the effort with 16 kills. Ellen Lemasters chipped in 14 kills and Rachel McDonald provided 13 kills.

Austin Peay returns to the road with next weekend’s Music City swing, beginning with a 6 p.m., Friday contest at Belmont.

SET-BY-SET

SET 1, GOVS WIN 25-21: The opening set was a see-saw affair early with 12 ties and five lead changes. Austin Peay forced the last of those lead changes thanks to back-to-back kills by Brook Moore that kick started a 4-0 run and gave the Govs a 17-15 lead. Austin Peay would nurse that small advantage to the finish line in a 25-21 win.

SET 2, COUGARS WIN 28-26: Another see-saw affair unfolded in the second frame, but the best theatrics were saved for the final moments. SIUE got to set point first at 24-22 only to see Austin Peay win three straight points, including kills by Gable and Moore, to take a 25-24 lead. SIUE the denied two set points before winning the frame’s final three points to win 28-26.

SET 3, GOVS WIN 25-21: SIUE seemed poised to run away and hide in the third set, racing out to a 4-0 lead and ultimately building a 12-6 advantage that forced an Austin Peay timeout. Out of the stoppage the Governors were unstoppable, winning 10 straight points to take a 16-12 lead they would not relinquish. Jenna Panning had three kills and helped on two blocks during the decisive run.

SET 4, GOVS WIN 25-20: After back and forth play early in the fourth, the Govs used a 6-0 run to break the set open with kills provided by three different Govs en route to the 17-10 lead. SIUE would try to reel the Govs back but would get no closer than three points the rest of the way.

GOVS, NOTABLY

STUCKER NOW THIRD. Stucker’s 53-assist outing moved her into sole possession of third on the Governors career assists list with 4,167 assists. It was her third 50-assist outing this season and was just five shy of her season high set against Troy.

FIRST ALONE. Austin Peay finished the day alone atop the Ohio Valley Conference standings. Tennessee State suffered its season’s first loss at home to Morehead State, leaving both those teams in second place at 5-1. Austin Peay will travel to Tennessee State next Saturday.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE TWINS. Gable posted her sixth double-double this season with her 24-kill, 10-dig performance against SIUE, it was her first double-double since Sept. 29 against Morehead State. Meanwhile, Moore notched her eighth double-double of the season and second straight with a 13-kill, 13-dig outing.

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