ON-TAP: Eastern Illinois travels home to Lantz Arena after picking up their first Ohio Valley Conference victory of the season against SIUE. The Panthers are playing host to the Tigers of Tennessee State. The Panthers look to win back-to-back games for the first time since they defeated Alabama State and USC Upstate at the Southern Illinois Saluki Tournament.
ALL-TIME SERIES: EIU is currently winning the all-time series against Tennessee State, 27-13. Last season during the condensed OVC schedule due to COVID-19, the Panthers split the two matches they played against the Tigers while winning the later match 3-0.
OVC UPDATE: This marks the seventh week of conference play for the OVC. Currently, Austin Peay leads the conference with an 10-1 record in the OVC and a overall record of 17-7. Last weekend they swept Belmont in both matches 3-0. Eastern Illinois currently ranks tenth in the conference with a 1-11 conference record, but are 8-14 overall. They are coming off their first OVC victory of the season after beating SIUE 3-1. The Tigers of Tennessee rank ninth in the conference with a 1-11 record and a 9-12 record overall. TSU is currently on a nine match losing streak since their last win against Southeast Missouri.
OVC INDIVIDUAL LEADERS: Kameryn Sillmon currently ranks fourth in the OVC in hitting percentage with a .286 and Emily Wilcox sits in fifth with a .276 percentage. Danielle Allen is in ninth place in kills per set with 3.08, and has 222 kills on the season after collecting 17 against SIUE. Summerlyn Smith sits at sixth in assists per set with 6.79. Kylie Michael is currently tied for the top spot in the conference in aces per set with 0.36. Christina Martinez Mundo ranks fifth in the OVC in digs per set with an average of 4.69.
FIRST OVC WIN: The Panthers overcame a 1-0 deficit to win their first OVC match of the season after Allen collected 17 digs in the match. She was aided by Summerlyn Smith who had a career high in assists with 47. Ireland Hieb and Ella Collins also helped the EIU offense with 10 kills each. Elisavet Papageorgiou also contributed a career high six block assists and six kills. Eastern looks to build momentum heading into the final stretch of the season as they try to reach the OVC tournament.
NEXT UP: After Eastern Illinois wraps up their home stand with Tennessee State, the Panthers will be on the road for their final away match of the season. They will be traveling to face Tennessee Tech before returning home for their final home stand against Austin Peay. Matches against Tennessee Tech will be played on Friday, Nov. 5 at 6 p.m. and on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 2 p.m.
HEAD COACH: Sara Thomas enters her second season as the head coach at Eastern Illinois and marks her first full season at the helm. Thomas is assisted by Manolo Concepcion and Ana Paula Zandona. The Panthers look to build off their 2-14 record last season in a condensed COVID-19 season.