Southeast Missouri State University student publication

SEMO volleyball sweeps Little Rock to move to first in the OVC

Tuesday, October 31, 2023
SEMO volleyball players celebrate after winning the second set of the game against Little Rock.
Photo by Beto Vaca Diez

SEMO volleyball defeated the Little Rock Trojans on Oct. 30 in three straight sets, moving the Redhawks to joint first in the OVC along with the Eastern Illinois Panthers.

SEMO dominated the first set, winning by a score of 25-17, however, the Redhawks faced some adversity in the second set, battling injury trouble and unforced errors, allowing the Trojans to take a three point lead.

Despite these troubles, the Redhawks maintained composure and battled back, scoring five consecutive points to recapture the lead, and then going on to win the set 25-21.

“In the second set we faced multiple different kinds of adversity, where we knew that we should be up by way more,” Graduate student Libero Tara Beilsmith said. “But it says a lot about this team. How we can bounce back from stuff like that and really come together, and how we trust each other, and believe in each other so much we can get anything done.”

Beilsmith continued to impress on the defensive side of the ball in this game, adding 17 digs to her all-time OVC record.

The redhawks went on to reassert their dominance the last set, winning by a score of 25-14, fully showing their strength to complete the victory.

“I am really happy with the way that we responded, we faced a little adversity, but the way we responded to that I really appreciate,” head coach Julie Yankus said. “People were ready to step in, and we had to adjust our lineup, and still come away with a win in a second set when it was close, and then take care of business in the third. So I'm happy we could come away with that.”

Freshman outsider hitter Lucy Arndt was named player of the game registering 13 kills and 12 digs, showing her well rounded play style on offense and on defense.

“I struggled a little bit with my passing but made up for it with my hitting. They [Little Rock] are a very good team and they are especially a very good blocking team so I think that we gotta work on keeping hitting with high hands.” Arndt said.

Lucy Arndt also gathered OVC honors this week, being named the conference's freshman player of the week.

“Lucy is a wonderful player, and a wonderful person, she has done a great job of adjusting, and connecting with our setter, and finding ways to score, she has really developed in her passing and her defense has already really improved since she first got here which is great, I think that the future is very bright for her.” Yankus said.

The Redhawks continue their charge for the OVC title this weekend as they take on the Western Illinois University Leathernecks.

“Western is going to be a tough opponent, we didn’t know what to expect with them joining the league this year, and they have shown that they can contend in this league, so it'll be a tough weekend that’s for sure.” Coach Yankus said.

The Redhawks play the Leathernecks in a weekend double header starting on Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. at Houck Field House.