Volleyball wins back-to-back at home


Sophomore setter Bella Dearinger totaled 82 assists and 20 digs against both Bradley and Illinois State on Friday, Oct. 21 and Saturday, Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of David Eaton/Racer Athletics.

Ronan Summers, Staff Writer

The Racers won both of their games over the weekend and have bumped themselves up into sixth place in the MVC with an overall record of 9-12 and a conference record of 5-6. 

Murray State’s freshman outside hitter Federica Nuccio earned MVC Freshman of the Week  after leading the Racers with 29 kills over the two-game span. Nuccio recorded her 13th and 14th double-double as she finished the weekend with 22 digs. 

The Racers hosted the Bradley University Braves on Friday, Oct. 21 and the Illinois State University Redbirds on Saturday, Oct. 22. The Racers won both matchups in four sets by a score of 3-1. 

vs. Bradley

Murray State and Bradley went back and forth in the match’s first set. Down 21-20, the Racers went on a three-point rally started by a Bradley service error. A Bradley attack error followed, and graduate middle blocker Elisa Dozio then earned a kill, giving the Racers a 23-21 lead.

The set was tied at 24 apiece before sophomore setter Bella Dearinger and junior middle blocker Darci Metzger each earned a kill, giving the Racers a 26-24 win in the first set.

The second set was competitive, as both teams traded points till it was tied at 20 apiece. Bradley then went on a five-point rally thanks to three Murray State attack errors and two kills. The Braves won the second set 25-20.

The Racers had control for the majority of the third set,  leading 19-13. Murray State then went on a five-point run that was initiated by a Bradley service error. The Braves then committed an attack error and freshman outside hitter Ella Vogel earned a kill.

An attack error followed, and Metzger finished the rally off with a kill, giving the Racers a 24-14 lead. The Racers then committed a service error, but the Braves committed an error as well, giving Murray State the third set 25-15.

The Racers trailed in the fourth set before Metzger earned a kill and Bradley committed an attack error, giving the Racers a 22-21 lead. The Braves retaliated by scoring twice in a row, but it was not enough. 

Nuccio earned a kill, and the Braves committed two attack errors, giving the Racers the fourth and final set 25-23.

Metzger led the Racers with 14  kills and six blocks. Nuccio finished the matchup with 13 kills, two aces and 11 digs. Dearinger finished the game with 42 assists, and junior libero Dahlia Miller finished with 10 digs and three assists. 

vs. Illinois State

The Redbirds jumped ahead in the first set before the Racers were able to close the gap. Down 17-11, the Racers scored on 10 of 13 possessions, taking a 21-20 lead. 

The Redbirds were able to regain a 24-23 lead. On the brink of losing the set, Nuccio killed the ball three times in a row, giving the Racers a 26-24 win in the first set.

The Racers had an 18-15 lead before Illinois State went on a series of rallies. The first was a three-point rally that tied the game at 18 apiece. An attack error halted the rally and put Murray State up 19-18.

Illinois State then went on a six-point rally, making the score 24-19. An attack error and a kill by Vogel gave the Racers some momentum; however, the Redbirds ultimately won the second set 25-21.

The third set was started by a kill from Metzger, and Nuccio followed with one of her own. An attack error rounded out the three-point rally to start the set. The Redbirds scored twice in retaliation before the Racers strung together another three-point rally, giving the Racers a 6-2 lead.

Murray State then went on a four-point rally soon after. The rally was initiated when senior outside hitter Alysha Smith earned herself a kill, and Nuccio followed with another. The Redbirds committed an attack error, and the rally was completed after Dozio earned a kill. The score was 10-3.

The Redbirds gave the Racers a fight, but Murray State came out victorious 25-17.

Illinois State completed three three-point rallies in the fourth set. These rallies helped get the Redbirds to a 23-20 lead, and it was looking like the match would be forced to a fifth set.

This was until Nuccio earned a kill, and Miller earned a pair of service aces and an attack error. Nuccio then earned another kill, completing a five-point rally to give the Racers the win in the fourth and final set 25-23.

Nuccio had 16 kills and 11 digs in the matchup against Illinois State. Dearinger finished with 40 assists and 11 digs, while Miller had four aces and 18 digs. Smith had 10 kills, five blocks and an assist.

Dearinger finished the weekend with 82 assists and 20 digs. Miller totaled 28 digs and five assists over the two games. Metzger ended up with 14 blocks. Freshman outside hitter Julia Fullop had three aces over the weekend.

The Racers travel to compete against the University of Northern Iowa at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 28 in Cedar Falls, Iowa. 


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