Volleyball struggles in conference play


Graduate middle blocker Elisa Dozio and freshman outside hitter Ella Vogel attempts a block in their game agaisnt Drake. Photo courtesy of David Eaton/Racer Athletics.

Ronan Summers, Staff Writer

The Racers currently sit in seventh place in the MVC with an overall record of 9-14 and a conference record of 5-8 after the pair of losses over the weekend. 

Murray State’s volleyball team had a weekend road trip to Cedar Falls, Iowa, as the Racers faced off against the University of Northern Iowa Panthers on Friday, Oct. 28. After competing against UNI, the Racers traveled to Des Moines, Iowa to take on the Drake University Bulldogs on Saturday, Oct. 29.

vs. UNI

The Racers had an early lead in the first set and were able to extend it after a four-point rally. The rally was initiated by a kill by freshman outside hitter Ella Vogel. Sophomore setter Bailey DeMier then earned a pair of service aces, and the rally was concluded by a Northern Iowa attack error. The score was 14-9 in favor of Murray State.

The Panthers almost clawed their way back to steal the first set, but the Racers had a 22-21 advantage. Senior outside hitter Alysha Smith earned a pair of kills, and freshman libero Gabriela Felix-Baeza earned a service ace, giving the Racers the first set win 25-21.

The Panthers were able to generate momentum in the second set. They did not allow the Racers to score more than twice in a row throughout the set’s entirety. The Panthers went on to win the second set 25-18.

It looked like the third set would end similarly to the second. UNI had a 24-18 lead, and it looked like the set was coming to an end, until a Panthers attack error set a rally in motion. Felix-Baeza earned a pair of service aces, and UNI committed another attack error, narrowing the lead to 24-22 in favor of UNI.

The Racers weren’t able to extend the rally and ultimately lost the third set 25-22.

The Panthers made short work of the Racers in the fourth set, beating them 25-12 to conclude the game. The Panthers won the matchup 3-1. 

Freshman outside hitter Federica Nuccio led the team in kills with 15. She also had 11 digs and two assists. DeMier finished with three aces and a team-high of two blocks and 37 assists . Felix-Baeza had 13 digs, seven assists and three aces.

vs. Drake

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 4-0 lead to begin the first set. This set the tone for what was to come. The Bulldogs were able to string together multiple rallies, allowing them to coast to a 25-16 win in the first set.

Drake then went on a five-point rally to start the second set. The Bulldogs had control for the majority of the set and eventually had a 24-17 lead. The Racers were on the brink of losing the set but then went on a rally.

The rally was started by a kill from Smith. Freshman outside hitter Julia Fullop then earned a pair of service aces. A pair of Drake attack errors completed the five-point rally and closed the gap. The score was 24-22. 

The Racers were unable to continue the rally and lost the second set 25-22.

The Bulldogs went on an eight-point rally to start the third set. The rally was put to an end because of an attack error. Afterwards, the Bulldogs went on a seven-point rally, making the score 15-1 by the time the second rally was over. 

Drake went on to win the third and final set 25-9 and the match 3-0. 

Nuccio led the Racers in kills with 10; she also had 10 digs. DeMier finished with 21 assists, and Felix-Baeza totaled 11 digs. 

DeMier finished the weekend with 58 assists. Nuccio ended up with a total of 25 kills and 21 digs over the two games. Felix-Baeza had 25 digs from the weekend. Smith had 14 kills from the pair of games. 

The Racers will host the next game against UIC at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4 in Racer Arena.


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