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The Murray State News

The Murray State News

The Murray State News

Volleyball sweeps Eagle Invitational in Georgia

Senior outside hitter Emily Matson recorded three spike and four kills in Murray State’s win over FIU. Photo courtesy of Racer Athletics.

Rachel Essner
Staff Writer
[email protected]


After a very successful weekend in Statesboro, Georgia, the Murray State volleyball team improved their record to 5-3 overall with two wins in the Eagle Classic on Friday, Sept. 10 and Saturday, Sept. 11. 

Game One

Murray State opened the Invitational with a 3-0 win against Florida International University. 

The teams stayed close in points in the first set, tying the game at 16 with kills from senior middle blocker Kolby McClelland, junior outside hitter Alysha Smith, freshman outside hitter Brooke Lynn Watts and sophomore middle blocker Darci Metzger. However, after a 6-2 run, the Racers were able to pull ahead to 22-18. With two back-to-back kills from McClelland and Metzger, the Racers took the set 25-21. 

The Racers carried their momentum into the second set, taking the early lead at 14-4 with kills from Smith, McClelland, Watts and Metzger. In an effort to catch up, the Panthers went on an 8-2 run to make the score 22-18. However, with kills from Smith and McClelland, the Racers took the set at 25-21. 

Murray State was quick to take the lead in the third set, using a 7-1 run for an 11-6 advantage. The Panthers were able to come within two points of the Racers at 24-22, but a kill from McClelland closed out the set 25-22.

Senior libero Becca Fernandez led the defense with 22 digs while sophomore defensive specialist Dahlia Miller collected 12 digs. Freshman setter Bailey DeMier tallied 44 assists and seven digs. 

Watts counted 15 kills, followed by Metzger with 13 and McClelland with 12 kills. McClelland also added two service aces. 

Game Two

Fernandez and Watts were unstoppable against Georgia Southern University as the Racers took a 3-1 win.

The Eagles took the early lead at 10-7 in the first set, but with a 6-2 run, the Racers took control at 13-12. The Eagles were never able to regain the lead as kills from Watts, Metzger and McClelland were able to help the Racers close out the set 25-23.

The teams kept the score close in the second set, tying at 11. However, Georgia Southern was able to gain control with a 5-1 run, making the score 16-13. Kills from Watts, McClelland, Smith, Metzger and senior outside hitter Emily Matson brought the Racers within one point of the Eagles at 24-23, but Georgia Southern was able to close out the set 25-23. 

Murray State jumped to a quick 10-4 lead in the third set with kills from McClelland, Watts and sophomore opposite hitter Jayla Holcombe. The Racers continued increasing the gap, as a kill from Watts and a service ace from Miller closed out the set 25-19.

A 9-2 run gave the Racers the advantage in the fourth set at 15-7. An 8-3 run from Murray State led the Racers to take the set 25-14, making it a 3-1 win against the Eagles. 

Fernandez collected 19 digs, leading her to the top spot on Murray State’s All-Time Digs leaderboard, passing Kayleah Sauer (2008-11) with a total of 2,166 career digs. Miller and Matson respectively counted 14 and 13 digs. 

Along with Fernandez, Watts was another record breaker with an astounding 34 total kills to break the Four-Set Single Match Kills Record. McClelland also reached double digit kills with 10 while DeMier tallied 53 assists. 

With hopes for another successful weekend, the Racers will continue on the road to Evansville, Indiana on Friday, Sept. 17 and Saturday, Sept. 18, to compete in the Dunn Hospitality Tournament.

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