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Govs return to OVC championship match

APSU Athletics Communications

By Riley Grubbs

Tnsports360.com

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn.- Austin Peay took advantage of a ravenous home crowd to punch its ticket to the OVC championship match.

The Govs were victorious in four sets against Jacksonville State, dropping the first 25-22, but bouncing back with wins of 25-22, 25-21 and 25-15.

“I need to shout out to baseball.” Govs coach Taylor Mott said. “They were freaking awesome. It’s so different when the gym is electric, and the baseball guys are there, so I give props to coach (Travis) Jansen for having them come.”

“They wouldn’t believe how big of a difference they made. When they get hype, we get hype and that is really what we need.” Austin Peay’s Cecily Gable said.

Unlike it’s showing in the quarterfinal match, Austin Peay had trouble in the first set.

“I think we weren’t in a very good rhythm. Jacksonville State came out playing on fire.” Mott said.

Austin Peay found itself on the wrong end of multiple point streaks in the first set and could not string together runs of its own.

The Govs jumped ahead 5-3, but a fve-point Jacksonville State run thwarted the early efforts.

Austin Peay later led 15-14 but were outscored by the Gamecocks 11-7 to end the first set.

The second two was what Mott was looking for.

“If we were to go down 2-0 it is hard to come back from that, so I think winning that second was huge and it helped build some momentum to help finish out the match,” Mott said.

This time it was Jacksonville State that faced opposing point streaks.

Austin Peay led most of the second set but found itself trailing 22-20. The Govs used resilient five-point streak to knot the match at one apiece.

As the match continued neither team completely pulled away.

The Govs finally separated themselves in the third set.

Trailing 18-17, the Govs once again went on a point streak to take the lead, 21-17, before closing with a 5-1 run in Set 3.

The fourth set demonstrated why Austin Peay was the No. 1 starter in the conference.

After jumping ahead 12-11, the Govs never looked back and finished the match on a 13-4 run.

Riley Grubbs is an intern for Tnsports360.com. Comments or questions can be directed to jtrodglen@tnsports360.com