For the second consecutive day, the Murray State volleyball team rallied for a four-set victory after dropping the first set of the match as the Racers defeated Eastern Illinois Friday in Clarksville, Tenn. Set scores went 21-25, 26-24, 25-19 and 25-17.
In addition to losing the first set, MSU (22-8) found itself trailing 7-0 in the second set before an 11-2 run by the Racers put it in the lead and the rest was history.
Rachel Holthaus had another huge match for the Racers in the victory as she tallied a match-high 15 kills while hitting .577. Rachel Giustino added 14 kills and 12 digs while Dacia Brown had 12 kills and Katirah Johnson chipped in with 11. Johhnson also led the way with five total blocks in the match.
For the match, both teams hit over .200 as a team as the Racers hit .247 and the Panthers (15-15) hit .208. After hitting just .023 in the opening set, MSU hit .310, .421 and .263 in the remaining three sets. The Racers also had a huge advantage in the serving game as they notched a season-high 12 service aces while EIU had three. The Panthers did out-block MSU in the contest 11-6.
Callie Anderton came on late in the first set and led the way with 42 assists in the victory. Becca Fernandez led team with a match-high 24 digs. Fernandez along with Courtney Radle each tallied four service aces. Alex Kaufmann had a pair of aces and also recorded seven digs.
The win is the Racers' seventh straight and it also marks their fourth consecutive trip to the OVC Tournament championship match. MSU is 2-1 in the previous three winner-take-all matches. The Racers will face host Austin Peay at noon Saturday.