Battle of Eagles kicks off OVC Championship


EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Volleyball (14-15, 10-8 OVC) received the five seed in the Ohio Valley Conference Championship and will face off against four-seeded Morehead State University (18-12, 11-7 OVC) in the quarterfinal round at Lantz Arena on the campus of Eastern Illinois University on Monday at 10 a.m. The winner between the Eagles and Screaming Eagles will move on to the semifinal round against the winner of No. 1 Eastern Illinois and No. 8 University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Game Coverage
Information about USI Volleyball, including live stats, video, and audio broadcasts, is available on 
Admission to the OVC Championship matches at Lantz Arena is free to all attendees.
OVC Tournament Central
For an updated bracket, match times, and ESPN+ broadcast information, go to the OVC Tournament Central.
Screaming Eagles Headlines:
Eagles Secure Postseason Bid. After the Screaming Eagles win over UT Martin on Wednesday, USI was guaranteed a spot in the Ohio Valley Conference Championship. This is the first conference tournament berth in the NCAA Division I era for USI. The Eagles enter the playoffs with a season-high four-match winning streak after sweeping Lindenwood and UT Martin in back-to-back weeks.
You Have To #OVCit. USI faces the four seed, Morehead State, in the first round of the tournament. These Eagles have battled twice this season with Morehead State holding a 2-0 record after posting a pair of wins (3-0 & 3-2) earlier in the year. The Eagles also hold the 4-0 all-time record over the Screaming Eagles with three of the four matches coming in sweeping fashion. In neutral territory, it’s anyone’s game.
Postseason History. Since the inaugural 1979 season, USI has had three conference championships with the latest being in 2021 when the Eagles topped Missouri S&T in the GLVC Championship. In the last 10 seasons, USI has been in five conference championships and one NCAA tournament. For Morehead State, the Eagles have a 44-36 all-time record in the OVC Championship with eight straight appearances. Morehead State has made the championship match three times since 2019, winning the OVC crown in 2020 after defeating Jacksonville State, 3-0, in their lone match.
Season Recap. After a disappointing year in 2022, USI put together a solid performance in 2023 with a 14-15 record and 10-8 in conference play. The Eagles hired Jeffrey Aucoin and returned all but one starter from last year’s roster. USI had big wins over Radford and New Orleans while earning solid victories over top-tier Lindenwood. The Eagles had close encounters with Bradley, Eastern Illinois, Morehead State, and Tennessee Tech who pose big threats this postseason.
OVC Leaderboard. In conference matches, USI stands third in hitting percentage (.213) and fourth in aces/set (1.47) and points/set (16.39). In all matches within the OVC, USI is top five in digs/set (16.41), aces/set (1.57), blocks/set (2.09), opponent aces/set (1.37), hitting percentage (.196), and opponent hitting percentage (.198).
OVC Leaders. Junior Paris Downing boasts the most blocks/set (1.11) and total blocks (122) in the conference. Senior Leah Anderson holds the most kills (428) and points (506.5) in the OVC and has her name in three categories including second in points/set (4.48) and kills/set (3.79) while standing fifth in aces/set (0.41). Senior Abby Bednar sits sixth in aces/set (0.38), seventh in points/set (3.91), and eighth in kills/ set (3.17). Junior Carly Sobieralski ranks fourth in assists/set (9.73) while sophomore Keira Moore rounds out the leaders with the eighth-most digs/set margin (4.14).
About Morehead State. The Eagles enter the tournament as the four seed with an 18-12 overall record and 11-7 in OVC play. Morehead State has dominated at home with a 12-3 record but has struggled on the road with a combined 6-9 record in neutral/road sites. The Eagles have been on a roll as of late, winning seven of the last eight matches against Tennessee State, SIUE, UT Martin, and Lindenwood. Morehead leads the OVC in opponent hitting percentage (.169) and is second in opponent assists/set (10.62), assists/set (12.56), opponent kills/set (11.50), kills/set (13.38), and digs/set (17.40).
Leading the Eagles. M.E. Hargan has excelled for Morehead State, posting the second-most kills/set (4.01) and third-best points/set (4.57) margins in the OVC. Irene Wogenstahl has punched down 1.22 blocks/set which is second-most along with the seventh-highest hitting percentage (3.17) in the conference. Brenna Bommer holds the eighth-most assists/set (6.66) while Peighton Isley posts the fifth-most digs/set (4.81).