The No. 3 seed Murray State volleyball team opened OVC Tournament play Thursday morning with a four-set victory over sixth-seeded Jacksonville State in Clarksville, Tenn. After dropping the first set 25-22, the Racers rallied to take the final three sets 25-21, 25-16 and 25-17 to win their sixth consecutive match.
Rachel Holthaus led the way with a match-high 16 kills while hitting .400. Holthaus also notched a career-high seven blocks and added nine digs in the win. Rachel Giustino posted another double-double as she had 15 kills and 10 digs while also adding four block assists. Katirah Johnson added 12 kills while swinging .476 and Courtney Radle chipped in with 10.
Callie Anderton tallied a career-best 57 assists in the win and also had 14 digs as she paced an MSU (21-8) offense that hit .250 in the match. Becca Fernandez tied a career-best with 29 digs against the Gamecocks (23-13) and also had two service aces. Ashley McBee led MSU with three aces.
JSU had a 7-6 edge in service aces in the matchup while committing six errors to MSU’s five. The Racers out-blocked JSU in the match 10-8.5 and held JSU to a .160 hitting percentage.
Murray State will now face the No. 7 seed Eastern Illinois in the semifinals of the OVC Tournament at 2:30 p.m., Friday. EIU upset second-seeded SIU Edwardsville in four sets to open its tournament.
by Kevin DeVries


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