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The Murray State News

The Murray State News

Freshman middle blocker Lily Burnett goes to block a shot against Evansville.
Burnett wins first MVC Player of the Week
Jonah Morgan, Staff Writer • September 27, 2023

The Murray State volleyball team’s success continued in the early stages of the season as middle blocker Lily Burnett won Missouri Valley Conference...

Sophomore forward Syndey Etter settles a ball on her way down the pitch.
Soccer ties for third consecutive game
Ronan Summers, Staff Writer • September 27, 2023

The Racers’ third conference game of the season resulted in the same score as their first two , with the matchup this past Sunday against the...

Preview: Volleyball prepare for season opener

Sophomore outside hitter Federica Nuccio gets ready to spike the ball over the net. Photo courtesy of David Eaton/Racer Athletics.

The Murray State Women’s Volleyball team has enjoyed much success in the past. They have consistently been one of the best sports programs that MSU has to offer, and this year looks to be no exception.

The Lady Racers’ past success has been due in no small part to Head Coach David Schwepker, who is the coach with the most wins in the program’s history and also a few wins away from 400 for his career. With Coach Schwepker’s contract being extended through the 2024 season, the Racers are looking to make waves in their second year in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Last year being the team’s first season in the MVC came with its challenges. The Racers fell in the first round of their first conference tournament to the Valparaiso Lady Beacons. Although they lost, it was in three hard fought sets that saw the Racers losing by 3 points, 6 points, and 2 points respectively.

As far as conference play went last season, the Racers had an 8-10 record, due in no small part to them losing five of their first seven conference matches. With a better start to conference play this season, the Racers could be set up for a big year in both the regular season and the conference tournament.

The roster didn’t take too much of a hit after last year, as the team only had one senior graduate after last season. The Racers have two seniors this year, libero Dahlia Miller, and middle blocker Darci Metzger. 

Miller was one of three players to play in all 29 matches for the Racers this past season. Looking further back, she has not missed a single match while she has played for Murray State, playing in all 16 in her freshman year, and all 30 in her sophomore year. Her play was consistent throughout all 29 matches this past season, as she led the team in digs with 479 and averaged 4.24 per set.

Metzger was a real bright spot for the Racers during the Missouri Valley Conference this past year, as she earned a spot on the MVC All-Tournament Team. She got this spot with a solid performance against Valparaiso, as she posted a .500 hitting percentage and tallied nine kills and three blocks. On the season as a whole, she racked up 192 kills and led the Racers in blocks with 68.

In addition to these seniors, the Racers have six signees joining them for the upcoming season. Four of these are freshmen, those being setter Paige Brock, and outside hitters Alexa Watts, Bailey Keusch, Lily Burnett. The Racers also brought in two new transfers, junior libero Duru Ozkan, and junior right-side hitter Marin Freeland.

These newcomers look to contribute to the team’s success and improvement, as the Racers begin their season soon. They have their first match on Friday against Cleveland State in the Leatherneck Classic. Their home opener is set to be on Friday, Sept. 22, against the Evansville Lady Aces in Racer Arena.

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About the Contributors
Jonah Morgan, Sports writer
Rebeca Mertins Chiodini, Photography Editor
Rebeca Mertins Chiodini began photographing for The News in fall 2022 and began Photo Editor in 2023. She loves to photograph all things sports, but especially baseball. A journalism major, she minors in Spanish.

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