Southeast Missouri State University student publication

SEMO Volleyball defeats Morehead State to open conference play

Friday, September 22, 2023
Senior outside hitter Kayla Closset (13) locks in as she prepares for a play, while teammates watch on in the background.
Photo by Blake Schowalter

SEMO volleyball defeated the Morehead State Eagles three sets to one on Sept. 22 at Houck Field House.

The Redhawks began the first set by jumping out to a 10-3 lead before Morehead State slowly began to make things closer, eventually tying things up at 20. SEMO ended the close and competitive set when senior setter Izzy Lukens assisted freshman outside hitter Lucy Arndt for back to back kills.

Head coach Julie Yankus said that the Redhawks were able to feed off the energy from the crowd.

“I think you could tell by the way we started the match. I mean, we were really just on fire. The energy in here was electric, it was really great to see,” Yankus said.

The second set fared more difficult for SEMO, as Morehead State got an early lead that they never seemed to relinquish, winning the second game 25-19. Coach Yankus said that energy SEMO entered the first set with might’ve backfired on them in the second set.

“We were a little too excited. Kind of got to us eventually in the second set, we just couldn't quite put it all together,” Yankus said.

The Redhawks were able to flip that score in the third set, winning 25-19. The final set was very close, but the Redhawks were able to close out the Eagles after trailing 23-18.

Senior outside hitter Kayla Closset was able to lead the Redhawks down the stretch, killing or assisting on SEMO’s final seven points, as they rallied back against the Eagles in the final set. Coach Yankus said that there was a lot of pressure on Closset to score and was impressed with how she performed.

“We weren't scoring in the middle and there was a lot of pressure on her to score,” said Yankus. “She definitely made some really good plays for us and really happy to see how she's progressed.”

The victory puts SEMO at 9-3 on the season, but also 1-0 in Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) play. Closset said conference play brings a new importance to every match.

“Starting conference everyone goes in 0-0, so it doesn't matter what our preseason record was, doesn't matter what anyone's preseason record was,” Closset said. “We knew we had to come in here and we know everyone's gonna be a battle in conference.”

The Redhawks will be back in action tomorrow for another match against Morehead State. Arndt said SEMO will have to clean up mistakes to be victorious again.

“Tomorrow we're going to be more laid back, and play our game, do less errors and just go after it,” Arndt said.