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The Murray State News

The Murray State News

The Murray State News

PREVIEW: Volleyball takes on MVC

Senior outside hitter Alysha Smith (#18) is prepared to be a leader for the volleyball team heading into 2022. Photo courtesy of Racer Athletics.

Ronan Summers
Contributing Writer
[email protected]

School is back in session, meaning the Racers’ volleyball season is right around the corner. The Racers are going to face some new competition this year, as they are one of the newest members of the MVC. Murray State’s switch to the MVC from the OVC took place in July. With the switch, the Racers’ volleyball team will be on the hunt for their fourth NCAATournament appearance under Head Coach David Schwepker. 

Libero Emma Kailiponi and outside hitter Alysha Smith are the returning seniors for the 2022 season. One of the newest Racers is graduate middle blocker Elisa Dozio, who is also a member of the Racers’ departing class this year. 

The Racers begin their season with back-to-back games in Evansville, Indiana, to take on the University of Southern Indiana Friday, Aug. 26 at 6 p.m. and Saturday, Aug 27 at 2 p.m. 

The Racers will then move on to play in a trio of invitationals. First, the Racers travel to Lynchberg, Virginia for the Liberty Invitational where the racers will play the Winthrop Eagles at 11 a.m. and UNC Wilmington at 2 p.m. on Sept. 2. Murray State will finish its first invitational against Liberty University on Sept. 3 at 3 p.m. 

The Marshall Invite hosted by Marshall University starts on Sept. 9 where the Racers will compete against Charleston Southern University at 11 a.m. and Kent State at 3 p.m. Murray State’s final game of the Marshall Invite will be against The Herd of Marshall University at 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 10.

The final invite is the Samford Invite. The Racers matchup against the Clemson Tigers at 2 p.m on Sept. 17 and the Samford Bulldogs at 2 p.m. on Sept. 18.

The Racers open their MVC journey with their first two home games of the season. First,  Murray State hosts SIU at 6 p.m. on Sept. 23, then it hosts the Missouri State Bears at 7 p.m. on Sept. 24.

The Belmont Bruins come to Murray on Sept. 27 to play the Racers at 6 p.m. Later that week, the Indiana State Sycamores come to town to play at 6 p.m. on Sept. 30. 

Before a long road game skid, the Racers will host the University of Evansville at 5 p.m. on Oct. 1. The Aces of Evansville found success last year going 21-12 overall.

Murray State won’t host another volleyball game until Oct. 21 when they play Bradley University at 6 p.m in Racer Arena. 

The Racers will then host the Illinois State Redbirds at 3 p.m. on Oct. 22. Illinois State went 13-5 in MVC play last year, 19-14 overall. 

The University of Illinois Chicago will then head to Murray to play in Racer Arena at 6 p.m. on Nov. 4. 

The Racers’ final home game of the season will be against the Valparaiso Beacons at 3 p.m. on Nov. 5. The Beacons went 12-6 last season and had the best overall record in the MVC going 26-10. 

The MVC Tournament will take place in Evansville, Indiana, at the Meeks Family Fieldhouse and will last from November 20-23. 

As Head Coach David Schwepker enters his 24th season, keep an eye out for the Racers to make a good first impression on their new conference. The Racers had a strong season last year going 18-12 overall and will look to build off of that success this year after only losing three seniors from last year’s squad.

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