Thursday, December 1 2022

Eastern Illinois (8-8, 2-1 OVC) vs. Little Rock (3-12, 0-2 OVC)
Friday September 30
Charleston, Ill. | Lantz Arena
6:00 p.m.
Live Statistics | look

Eastern Illinois vs. Little Rock
Saturday October 1
Charleston, Ill. | Lantz Arena
4:00 p.m.
Live Statistics | look

IN DRAFT: Eastern Illinois returns home after a midweek trip to Southern Indiana to welcome Ohio Valley Conference Arkansas newcomer Little Rock. EIU remains in fifth place with a 2-1 record in the OVC while Little Rock is ninth with a 0-2 conference record. EIU and LR will play Friday, September 30 at 6 p.m. and Saturday, October 1 at 4 p.m.

ALL-TIME SERIES: The Panthers lead the all-time series against the Little Rock Trojans 2-0. EIU first met Little Rock at an invite held in Southeast Missouri during the 1994 season where EIU earned the first-ever victory by a 3-1 finish.

The two teams would not meet again until the 2002 season, when EIU and Little Rock met at the Missouri Tiger Invitational. Eastern would win the second encounter in history in five sets. The all-time series will now grow with Little Rock joining the OVC.

SOUTHERN INDIANA RECAP: Eastern Illinois defeated Southern Indiana in an OVC midweek match in four sets. EIU combined for 62 eliminations in the game which is tied for their second most in a game this season. The scores of the sets were: 26-24, 25-22, 23-25, 25-21.

The Panthers battled through Tuesday night despite their second OVC win of the season. The biggest margin of victory stood at just four points the entire game. EIU recorded a total of 62 wins against 36 for the Screaming Eagles.

Kaitlyn Flynn prepared for Evansville where she recorded her second-most wins of the season with 27. She led the team with a .353 hit percentage, her third-highest in a game this season. She was also active on the defensive end and had 16 digs and four blocks overall. Flynn also recorded two service aces.

OFFENSIVE POTW: Giovana Larregui Lopez won the Ohio Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Week award after her performances against SIUE last weekend at Lantz Arena. Larregui Lopez also won the OVC Newcomer of the Week in the first week of the season.

Against the SIUE Cougars, Larregui Lopez averaged 37 kills in two games last weekend for an average of 4.11 kills per set. She finished third on the team in hitting percentage with a .286. She also had her fourth and fifth double-doubles of the season with at least 10+ kills and 10+ digs.

100 KILLED CLUB: Flynn, Larregui Lopez and Ella Collins have been active on the offensive end for the Panthers as all three have over 100 kills this season. Flynn leads the group with 153 kills, Larregui Lopez recording 144 and Collins recording 105.

Over the past weekend against SIUE, Larregui Lopez led all Panthers hitters with 37 kills while Flynn had 29. All three Panthers are averaging over 2.50 kills per set with Flynn leading with 4.25, Lopez with 3.51 and Collins with 2.56. As a team, EIU is posting 12.12 kills per set, which is fifth in the OVC.

OVC LEADERS: Christina Martinez Mundo jumps to first place in the OVC in recoveries per set with an average of 5.60. She also led the league in total digs with 336 on the season so far.

In the NCAA, Mundo ranks second in total digs and sixth in digs per set. Eastern as a team ranks 50th in digs per set with an average of 15.57. They are third overall in the OVC in digs per set, but lead the conference in total digs with 934.

Kaitlyn Flynn remains at the top of the OVC rankings after his strong showing against USI. She leads the conference in kills per set averaging 4.14 kills per set. In the NCAA, she ranks 29th in this category.

Giovana Larregui Lopez rises through the ranks in kills per set to rank just behind teammate Flynn with an average of 3.51 kills per set. Catalina Rochaix also makes an appearance on the assists list averaging 5.55 per set, which is ninth in the OVC.

Lilli Amettis debuted in the top ten in hitting percentage in the OVC. She ranks tenth with a PCT of .260. Amettis has 71 kills this season, making him fifth on the team with just 24 errors on 181 kills. Eastern Illinois ranks fourth in the conference in hitting percentage against opponents while only giving up a .193 percentage.

OVC ADDS THREE NEW TEAMS: The Panthers will have new competition this year in the conference as Arkansas Little Rock, Lindenwood and Southern Indiana joined the OVC at the start of the 2022-23 league year. Lindenwood and Southern Indiana make the jump from Division II to Division I while Little Rock joins after playing in the Sun Belt. Belmont, Austin Peay and Murray State all joined new conferences after the 2021-22 season.

SEARCH THE TROYANS: Little Rock is currently 3-12 and 0-2 in the OVC after facing UT Martin last weekend. During their non-conference schedule, the Trojans faced off against Colorado and Arkansas, both of which are Power Five schools.

Little Rock’s offense is led by Jeila Fullerton with 93 kills and Laure Jansen who averages 2.73 kills per set. Livia Kimura has a total of 18 service aces this season, which puts her in the OVC’s top five in total aces. Kimura is also their leading defender with 170 digs.

The Trojans are coached by Van Compton, who is in his 35th season at Little Rock. She led the Trojans to four Sun Belt championships and a 553-454 (.549) record.

NEXT: Eastern Illinois will have its first away weekend series in OVC play as it travels to Southeast Missouri, last year’s OVC champion, on Friday, October 7 and the Saturday October 8. Both games will be broadcast on ESPN+.

THE HEAD COACH: Sarah Thomas is entering his third season as head coach at Eastern Illinois University. Last season, Thomas took his team to the OVC tournament for the first time since the 2017 season. EIU finished 11-18 last season with an OVC 4-14 record. Thomas is assisted by Manolo Concepcion and Ignacio Valdemoros. The Panthers are looking to build on their success last season.


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