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Govs move into semifinals following sweep

By Riley Grubbs

Tnsports360.com

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn.- Austin Peay’s Kristen Stucker opened the OVC Tournament with a tremendous showing of 29 assists, six digs, and two aces, and propelled the Govs past Tennessee State 25-15, 25-18 and 25-14 Thursday.

“I’m just really trying to keep our offense balanced, everyone gets opportunities, and everyone gets one-on-ones.” Stucker said.

“I was really pleased with the way we played.” Govs coach Taylor Mott said. “Sometimes I think we kind of sit back and wait for the other team to set the tempo, and I felt like tonight we came in and we set the tempo ourselves in the beginning and really dominated the match.”

Austin Peay trailed 8-7 in the first set until it notched a nine-point streak.

“I think that is the thing that we really try to emphasize is making those runs,” Mott said. “When we are able to make those runs, we tend to be successful.”

The Govs jumped out to a 16-8 lead. They then outscored the Tigers 9-6 to seal the first set.

In the first set, Stucker finished with 11 assists and three digs. Kaylee Taff finished with five kills and Cecily Gable ended with seven digs.

After a 2-0 start for Austin Peay in the second set, neither team scored more than two unanswered points until Austin Peay made a four-point run taking a 14-10 lead.

Tennessee State pulled within 15-14 to witness the Govs go on a 10-4 run to end Set 2.

Stucker finished the second set with nine assists, while Ginny Gerig and Gable finished with five digs, respectively.

Austin Peay kept the momentum up in the third set, establishing a quick 10-4 lead. Tennessee State trimmed the lead to 13-9, however, after a timeout, the Govs shut down the Tigers allowing only five more points for the duration of the set.

“I’m just glad we set the tone from the beginning and played at a high level throughout,” Mott said. “Sometimes we will start really well and then kind of sit back, but I felt like from the first point we set the tone.”

The sweep pushes the Govs into the semifinals against Jacksonville State Friday at 5 p.m.

Riley Grubbs is an intern with Tnsports360.com. Questions and comments can be directed to jtrodglen@tnsports360.com