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EKU’s Alexis Plagens plays a ball at the net last week against Morehead State at McBrayer Arena.

The sixth seeded Eastern Kentucky University volleyball team will face No. 3 seed Eastern Illinois University in the first round of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament.

The tournament is hosted by No. 1 seed Morehead State. Today’s match is slated for 11 a.m.

The two teams have only faced each other one time during the regular season (Oct. 12). The Colonels (17-15, 9-7 OVC) defeated EIU 3-0 in the match in Richmond.

The Colonels have won nine of their last 12 matches since that October victory over the Panthers, including an upset over Morehead State, which snapped a 36-match conference winning streak for the Eagles.

Meanwhile, EIU (18-11, 12-4 OVC) has won nine of its last 10 OVC matches since the loss in Richmond.

EKU coach Lori Duncan said she likes the matchup with the Lady Panthers and thinks the Colonels are ready for the tournament.

“We beat them pretty soundly when we played them in Richmond. The last time we played EIU in the tournament we went on to win it all. We’re hoping that will be the case once again,” Duncan said. “We also like the fact that we are playing in Morehead and can drive up and back to the matches and can sleep in our own beds and keep our regular routine. That is a big advantage for us.”

EIU leads the OVC in both assists and kills, while EKU ranks ninth in both categories. The Panthers average 13.04 assists per set and 13.92 kills per set compared to the Colonels’ 11.20 assists per set and 12.14 kills per set averages.

EKU senior Ashley Edmond ranks second in the OVC in kills per set (3.44) and points per set (3.84). Junior Dena Ott averages 4.79 digs per set, placing her third in the OVC. Ott was named OVC defensive player of the week (Nov. 18) for her contributions in the win over Morehead State.

The Panthers are led by seniors Stephanie Arnold and Amy Martin. The duo ranks second and 10th, respectively, in blocks per set in the OVC. Sophomore  Marah Bradbury leads the OVC with 11.07 assists per set.

The winner advances to face the winner of today’s matchup of No. 2 Belmont and No. 7 SIU Edwardsville in the semifinals. The semifinal match is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Friday.

Duncan said Belmont should come out with a win and thinks her team has a good shot of beating the Lady Bruins.

“We lost to Belmont the opening weekend of the season and we lost to them here last week in a five-set match. I really have a hard time thinking that Belmont is going to beat us three times in one season,” she said. “It will be very hard for them to do.”

When the Colonels defeated Morehead last week they got big contributions from several different players. That’s what it will take for the Colonels to advance very far in the tournament, Duncan said.

Edmond earns All-OVC honors

Eastern Kentucky University’s Ashley Edmond was named  to the All-Ohio Valley Conference volleyball team, the league announced Wednesday.

Edmond is the only representative from EKU, earning her third consecutive selection to the All-OVC squad. The senior from Michigan City, Ind., was also named the OVC Freshman of the Year in 2010.

The tournament is hosted by No. 1 seed Morehead State. Today’s match is slated for 11 a.m.

The two teams have only faced each other one time during the regular season (Oct. 12). The Colonels (17-15, 9-7 OVC) defeated EIU 3-0 in the match in Richmond.

The Colonels have won nine of their last 12 matches since that October victory over the Panthers, including an upset over Morehead State, which snapped a 36-match conference winning streak for the Eagles.

Meanwhile, EIU (18-11, 12-4 OVC) has won nine of its last 10 OVC matches since the loss in Richmond.

EKU coach Lori Duncan said she likes the matchup with the Lady Panthers and thinks the Colonels are ready for the tournament.

“We beat them pretty soundly when we played them in Richmond. The last time we played EIU in the tournament we went on to win it all. We’re hoping that will be the case once again,” Duncan said. “We also like the fact that we are playing in Morehead and can drive up and back to the matches and can sleep in our own beds and keep our regular routine. That is a big advantage for us.”

EIU leads the OVC in both assists and kills, while EKU ranks ninth in both categories. The Panthers average 13.04 assists per set and 13.92 kills per set compared to the Colonels’ 11.20 assists per set and 12.14 kills per set averages.

EKU senior Ashley Edmond ranks second in the OVC in kills per set (3.44) and points per set (3.84). Junior Dena Ott averages 4.79 digs per set, placing her third in the OVC. Ott was named OVC defensive player of the week (Nov. 18) for her contributions in the win over Morehead State.

The Panthers are led by seniors Stephanie Arnold and Amy Martin. The duo ranks second and 10th, respectively, in blocks per set in the OVC. Sophomore  Marah Bradbury leads the OVC with 11.07 assists per set.

The winner advances to face the winner of today’s matchup of No. 2 Belmont and No. 7 SIU Edwardsville in the semifinals. The semifinal match is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Friday.

Duncan said Belmont should come out with a win and thinks her team has a good shot of beating the Lady Bruins.

“We lost to Belmont the opening weekend of the season and we lost to them here last week in a five-set match. I really have a hard time thinking that Belmont is going to beat us three times in one season,” she said. “It will be very hard for them to do.”

When the Colonels defeated Morehead last week they got big contributions from several different players. That’s what it will take for the Colonels to advance very far in the tournament, Duncan said.

Edmond earns All-OVC honors

Eastern Kentucky University’s Ashley Edmond was named  to the All-Ohio Valley Conference volleyball team, the league announced Wednesday.

Edmond is the only representative from EKU, earning her third consecutive selection to the All-OVC squad. The senior from Michigan City, Ind., was also named the OVC Freshman of the Year in 2010.

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