Volleyball starts MVC schedule 0-3


Senior outside hitter Alysha Smith finished the weekend with 27 kills. Photo courtesy of Racer Athletics.

Ronan Summers, Staff Writer

The Murray State volleyball team began MVC play over the weekend, dropping its first three conference games since the switch.

The Racers hosted the Southern Illinois University Salukis on Friday, Sept. 23; the Missouri State Bears on Saturday, Sept. 24; and the Belmont University Bruins on Tuesday, Sept. 27.

vs. SIU

Murray State got off to a hot start in the first set. The Racers started the game with a five-point rally started by a kill from freshman outside hitter Ella Vogel. 

Freshman middle blocker Haidi Miliou continued the rally with a kill. Vogel earned another kill, then SIU committed an attack error, and Vogel rounded the rally out with another kill. The Salukis were able to respond, tying the game at 13 apiece and eventually winning the set 25-22. 

The Racers were down 22-18 in the second set, but a rally started by a pair of kills by Miliou were exactly what the team needed to get rolling. 

Sophomore setter Bailey DeMier earned a service ace to continue the rally. A trio of SIU attack errors followed, giving the Racers a 24-22 lead. Senior outside hitter Alysha Smith finished the set with a kill, winning 25-22. 

Murray State got out to another fast start in the third set as Smith started a rally with a kill. Then Smith and Miliou each had a kill, and SIU committed two more errors, rounding out an eight-point Racer rally. The Racers kept their foot on the gas, winning the third set 25-16.

The Racers trailed throughout the majority of the fourth set. They did not have a lead at any point . The Salukis coasted to a 25-17 win to even the score of the match at two sets apiece. 

The fifth and final set was competitive, as both teams were able to string together good possessions. The Racers had a 7-6 lead, but the Salukis were able to get ahead after a three-point rally. 

The Racers fought to stay in the game, but SIU was able to seal the victory, winning the last set  15-13. The Racers fell to the Salukis 3-2.

vs. Missouri State

The Racers started the first set of the game with a four-point rally. Vogel initiated the rally after a kill. Graduate middle blocker Elisa Dozio followed with a kill of her own, and two Missouri State attack errors completed the rally. 

The Racers completed another four-point rally after a pair of kills from Vogel and a pair of Missouri State attack errors increased the Racers’ lead to 13-7. The Racers ultimately won the first set 25-18.

The second set of the match was heavily contested and went to the 29th point. The Racers had a 27-26 lead before giving up three straight points to allow the Bears to steal the win 29-27. 

Murray State was behind 3-1 early on in the third set before it was able to go on a five-point rally. The rally began off a Missouri State attack error. Junior libero Dahlia Miller then earned a service ace, and freshman outside hitter Federica Nuccio followed with back-to-back kills. The rally’s conclusion came from another Missouri State attack error, making the score 6-3.

The Bears were able to tie things up at 13 apiece before going on a five-point rally, helping them coast to a 25-21 win in the third set. 

The Racers were down 4-2 in the fourth set before Smith started a rally that stemmed from a kill. Miller then earned a service ace, and Nuccio followed with a kill. Smith earned herself another kill, and Dozio finished the rally with a kill of her own.

After going back and forth, the game was tied up 19-19 thanks to a kill by Dozio. Missouri State then committed an attack error, and Dozio continued the rally with back-to-back service aces, making the Racers up 22-19.The Racers won the fourth set 25-23.

Down 7-4 in the fifth set, the Racers were able to tie the set up at seven apiece thanks to two Missouri State attack errors in a row and a kill from Dozio.

The Bears were able to put together two rallies at the end of the set and eventually won the fifth and final set 15-9. Missouri State won the matchup 3-2.

vs. Belmont

Down 6-4 in the first set, the Racers jumped out in front thanks to a four-point rally initiated by back-to-back kills by DeMier. Nuccio then earned a service ace, and Vogel rounded the rally out with a kill.

The game was tied at 18 apiece before a kill from Vogel and a Belmont attack error helped give the Racers a lead. The Racers eventually won the set 25-22.

The second set was tied at four apiece before Belmont went on a four-point rally. The Racers were able to get a lead after Dozio killed the ball and Miller earned a service ace, making the score 17-15. 

Belmont responded by going on a five-point rally to regain the lead, going on to win the second set 25-22.

Belmont had control for the majority of the third set and did not allow the Racers to get within striking distance. Belmont went on to win the third set 25-20.

The Racers went on a six-point rally early on in the fourth set, making the score 6-1. However, the Bruins made their way back, tying things up at 10 apiece. Both teams were going back and forth until Belmont went on a late four-point run to help the team inch closer to a win.

The Bruins won the fourth and final set by a score of 25-20 and won the match 3-1.

Vogel had 47 kills over the three game span. DeMier had 151 total assists, 17 kills and 33 digs through the three games. Across the trio of games, Nuccio had 29 kills and 47 digs. Miller totaled 61 digs, while Dozio had 26 kills and 10 digs.

The Racers will host the Indiana State Sycamores at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30.