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October 4, 2013

Section B

The News


Sports Editor: Ryan Richardson Phone: 809-4481 Twitter: MSUSportsNews

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Racers earn 35-34 win on bold call by Hatcher, start conference play 1-0 Jonathan Ferris || Staff writer

The Racers’ fate came down to one final play Saturday night, and sophomore receiver Jeremy Harness knew the ball was coming his way. “I knew when I got outside I was going to be wide open,” Harness said. “I just had to make sure I kept running and caught the ball when it was coming.” Fortunately for the Racers, Harness did make the catch and ran all the way to a Murray State victory. After nine consecutive years of losing to Jacksonville State, the Racers overcame the undefeated Gamecocks 35-34 in a thrilling overtime battle. The opening game of both teams’ OVC schedules came down to the wire, as Jacksonville State kicker Griffin Thomas tied the game at 27 with a 25-yard field goal as the fourth quarter expired. With momentum on the Gamecock’s side, junior running back DaMarcus James capped off his impressive 229-yard, three-touchdown game with a quick, 13-yard touchdown run to give Jacksonville State a seven-point overtime lead. Needing a touchdown to keep the game alive, the Racer offense struggled, failing to gain any yards on its first three overtime plays. Facing a potentially game-ending fourth-and-10, sophomore quarterback Maikhail Miller found Harness for a 13-yard completion to extend the game. Miller then proceeded to run the ball down to the one-yard line before punching it in for the score. Faced with the choice of kicking an extra point and sending the game to double-overtime or going for the two-point conversion to win it, Head Coach Chris Hatcher called a timeout. After the game, Hatcher said the decision was simple. “When you’re on the road against a team that’s ranked higher than you that you haven’t had any success against, why not?” Hatcher said. Miller took the snap and immediately found Harness standing all alone on the right side. Harness caught the pass and sprinted into the endzone untouched before being mobbed by teammates as the Murray State sideline erupted onto the field. “It was just like coach tells us all the time, to be ready when your number is called,” Harness said. “Coach called the play, I knew it was coming to me and I was just ready when my number was called.” Before defeating Missouri State in the final minute two weeks ago, the Racers had not won a game on the final possession during Hatcher’s four-year tenure as Head Coach. Now the Racers have won two of the last three in comeback fashion. More importantly, the Racers move to 3-2 on the season and are off to a perfect 1-0 start in conference play. “It always helps to start off conference play with a win and that’s something we haven’t done since I’ve been the coach,” Hatcher said. “To win in that fashion and play a game against a great football team and be able to make one more play than they did says a lot about the character of our team.” While the game Saturday night is only the beginning of a grueling conference schedule, Hatcher did not downplay the importance of the victory.

Ryan Richardson/The News

BOLD CALL: Head Coach Chris Hatcher decided to attempt a two-point conversion rather than send the game into double-overtime against Jacksonville State. The successful conversion earned the Racers their first win over the Gamecocks since 2003, and gave Murray State a 1-0 record in OVC play. Duane Brady (left) finished the game with 23 carries for 79 yards and a touchdown.


Volleyball team shows inexperience in conference play

Taylor Crum || Staff writer

After bringing home a first-place tournament trophy for the third time this season, the Racers seem to be taking a different pathway in conference play. The Racers took the floor last Friday against Tennessee Tech and brought home another win. With the win, the Racers improved to a four-game winning streak. “That gym is a really hard gym to play in,” Head Coach David Schwepker said. “It’s a very difficult gym for anybody to play in

unless you’re used to it like (Tennessee Tech) is. To get a win out of there was just really good for us, and I was really happy about that.” However, the Racers ended their winning streak the next day when they fell to Jacksonville State in the fifth set of the match. Schwepker said the attitudes of the players are the most important factor in winning a match, which is what he said led to the loss. “We have some inexperience issues that we have to deal with as far as people being able to control themselves and their attitudes out there on the court,” Schwepker said.

Enter Sandman I have never been a New York Yankees fan – it has never even crossed my mind for a single moment. I actually despise most everything about the team. Ryan I could go on Richardson and on about Sports Editor why the Yankees leave a bitter taste in my mouth, but I want to reflect on the man who is likely to go down as the greatest closer in all of baseball. Mariano Rivera, known in the baseball world as “Sandman,” was the most feared closer to ever play the game. When batters heard Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” boom through the stadium speakers, they struggled to put on a brave face. Inside, they knew which way they would likely be leaving the batter’s box, and it wouldn’t be headed towards the base path. There is as much mystery to Rivera’s success as there is art. He did not have an arsenal of pitches like most who stand on the mound. Instead, he used a single pitch – the cut fastball. He made it look easy, the way he controlled that dangerous pitch. And he was consistent. He blazed the ball past batters at more than 90 miles per hour. Through 18 seasons, he recorded 652 regular-season saves. In the postseason, he had 42 – which happens to be the number he wore – and had a .70 earned run average in 141 innings. In four World Series, Rivera got the final out to earn the wins for the Yankees. But now he is gone from the game forever. His jersey was retired alongside him, and he is the last person to ever wear the number 42 in professional baseball. Even the biggest rivals stood in honor as he pitched his last games in their stadiums. Perhaps the coolest gift is a rocking chair presented to him by the Minnesota Twins. It is made of the bats hitters broke when facing him and is called the “Chair of Broken Dreams.” This marks the end of an era that will never be matched. With his last pitch, Rivera closed out his infamy with a sense of closure. Rivera was a rare, shining star for the game of baseball. He gave everyone something to marvel at. But now it’s lights out. Game over.

“With these young players, they don’t know how to control themselves in those situations and that’s what really hurt us.” The Racers then took the floor Tuesday night against another conference opponent, Austin Peay, where they fell short once again in the fifth set of the match. “Again, our inexperience showed through,” Schwepker said. “I was proud of the girls that in the fifth set they didn’t give up. We were down and they just kept playing hard.” Schwepker said he thinks overall the Rac-

see SETS, 2B

Soccer drops two home matches Tom Via || Staff writer

Lori Allen/The News

The Racers lost their first two conference matchups at home over the weekend.

The soccer team opened conference play with a pair of losses at home against Southeast Missouri and UT Martin this past weekend. Head Coach Beth Acreman said the team played its best games of the year even though the results weren’t what they hoped. “I’m pleased with the effort the girls put in,” Acreman said. “They gave their all in back-to-back games and I think we just need to clean up some details.” In the OVC opener against SEMO, the Racers played a balanced game. While the Redhawks attempted more shots in the first half, the teams each placed four shots on the goalkeepers.

Just before halftime, the Racers committed a foul that would lead to the game-winning goal. Off a free kick, the Redhawks got the ball inside the six-yard box with the ball getting past freshman goalkeeper Savannah Haberman with six seconds left before halftime. “I think our defense held really strong,” Acreman said. “I was happy to see them shut (SEMO) down because we have been getting scored on pretty early in games. Unfortunately, giving up a goal right before half was not what we wanted.” In the second half, the Racers became the aggressors, tallying six shots with the majority coming in the final 10 minutes. The Racers almost scored a game-

tying goal in the 86th minute as senior midfielder Shauna Wicker put the ball close to the goal line, but the referee signaled the ball didn’t go in. “For me it was a funny angle but I felt like when the girls reacted the way they did that it went in,” Acreman said. “It's hard to say it didn’t, but I didn’t see it. It would have been amazing to tie it up and I think the girls deserved to tie it up.” Wicker showed her senior leadership when discussing the potential game-tying goal. “It happens, and I wanted the goal,” Wicker said. “Sometimes its just not meant to be. Sometimes you can blame it on a ref, but it's just a shame that it

see GOALS, 2B






Women’s team continues to reach finals, 3B

Football player signs with J23 Productions, 5B

Overcrowding leads to push for animal adoption, 8B

Men’s golf ends tournament four strokes off lead, 4B

The News



October 4, 2013



From Page 1B

From Page 1B

“This ranks up there as one of the biggest wins I’ve ever had,” Hatcher said. The Racers will look to improve to 2-0 in the conference next Saturday as the 32 Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles visit Roy Stewart Stadium. Coming off a thrilling victory of their own, the Golden Eagles suffered a major setback last week against Indiana State as senior running back Bud Golden reportedly suffered a leg injury. Though they may have to adjust their offense after losing one of the top contributors, the Golden Eagles will likely continue to rely on their stout defense, which currently ranks fourth in the conference through the first five games. Despite the winning effort Saturday, Hatcher said he hopes to see his team continue to make improvements as it prepares to face Tennessee Tech. “We must get better at getting off the field on defense,” Hatcher said. “We’re not giving up the big play but we’re playing way too many snaps on that side of the ball. Offensively, we just have to do a better job of being more consistent. If we improve in those two areas I feel good about where we’re headed.” As the Racers look to start their conference play 2-0 for the first time since 1998, Hatcher is just trying to keep his team grounded. “Every week is a big week,” said Hatcher. “Every week you’re playing for the championship. And if you do that, maybe one day later in the year we will be playing for the championship.”

ers need to continue working on being more consistent. Schwepker also said there have been changes made to the Racer lineup due to one of the player’s inability to compete. “We just had to make some changes,” Schwepker said. “We’ll see how it goes. After it’s ironed out, I think they will be a lot better.” Despite the Racers’ lack of success in conference play so far this season, they still have three tournament championship titles lingering. Schwepker said there is a big difference in the way the Racers play in tournaments versus regular season play. “There’s not as much pressure in tournament games,” Schwepker said. “It’s not conference; we’re sometimes seen as the the underdog and people aren’t expecting us to win.” Schwepker said he believes the hype of other conference teams is getting to the Racers. “I always try to tell the girls, do not get on the Internet and read about the other schools, just work on our stuff,” Schwepker said. “That’s all we need to worry about.” The Racers will see the floor again at noon Saturday in Racer Arena against Morehead State. Then they have nearly a week off before hosting UT Martin.

GOALS From Page 1B happened there because it could have tied the game.” The Racers earned a few more scoring chances, but the Racers lost their OVC opener 1-0. The team then hosted two-time defending OVC champion UT Martin on Cutchin Field. Playing in the pouring rain Sunday, the Racers battled just like they did in their opener, but fell short once again. Like their first game, it was a set piece that would get the opposing team on the scoreboard first as UT Martin scored in the 24th minute on a header. “We know (defending set

Ryan Richardson/The News

Sophomore Emily Schmahl (10) attempts a kill in the Racers’ loss to Jacksonville State Saturday.

pieces) has been a problem for us and we just need to clean it up every game,” Acreman said. The Racers responded and almost tied the game, but senior midfielder Tasha Merritt’s header went wide of the UTM net. Although the Racers would control the final 10 minutes of the first half, they would go into the locker room trailing 1-0. In the second half the Racers and Skyhawks controlled the ball equally and attempted eight shots each. In the 64th minute, the Skyhawks passed a ball over the top of the Racers’ back line and doubled their lead, 2-0. The Racers battled from behind to get on the scoreboard with five minutes remaining. Sophomore Megg Hudson found Julie Mooney to cut the

lead in half with her fourth goal of the season. “Anytime (Mooney) has a chance to get behind the back line, it’s a 100 percent chance she is going to score a goal,” Acreman said. The Racers had a few more chances but could not tie the game and dropped to 0-2 in conference play. The Racers will go on the road for the first time in conference play, taking on Belmont and Tennessee Tech this weekend. “We are 0-2 in conference and we need to get it together but the girls are committed and ready,” Acreman said. The Racers face off against Belmont today at 5 p.m. and then travel to Tennessee Tech for a 2 p.m. game Sunday.


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Lori Allen/The News

Freshman Julie Mooney is the go-to player to score goals for the Racers.

Graphic by Evan Watson/The News

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The News


October 4, 2013 Swing and a Drive

Racer football thoughts I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed covering a Murray State football game more than I did last Saturday night at Jacksonville State. I have to admit, I wasn’t Jonathan all that excited Ferris when my editor asked me to give Staff writer up a precious day of Fall Break to make the long drive to the backwoods of Alabama to watch the Racers play a team they hadn’t beaten since 2003. After suffering a 48-7 beatdown the week before, I wasn’t exactly confident in the Racers’ chances against the Gamecocks. Boy, was I wrong. After a less-than-desirable nonconference schedule which featured the Racers suffering two big losses against far superior FBS teams, the true makeup of this team remained a bit of a mystery. Sure, they managed to pull victory from the jaws of defeat two weeks ago against a decent Missouri State team, but the defense and run game both still left a lot to be desired. Saturday night, Head Coach Chris Hatcher’s team showed up to play and I saw improvement in nearly every facet of the game. The backfield duo of Jaamal Berry and Duane Brady, which was proclaimed as being the best tandem in the OVC prior to the season, finally put it all together Saturday night. Berry, who had struggled with a limited number of carries through the first four games, exploded in the first half, finishing with 96 yards on 10 carries. Additionally, the defense, which has been a weak point over the last several seasons, seems to finally be improving. Yes, they still allowed the Gamecocks to rack up 652 yards of total offense, but the difference this season is the turnovers. Through the first four games, the Racers have forced 12 turnovers, including two huge interceptions down the home stretch on Saturday night. It’s not a defense that’s going to shut out many opponents, but Dennis Therrell’s new squad seems to be very opportunistic and has come up big in several key situations. If the Racers can continue to improve out of the backfield and on the defensive side of the ball, they’re going to be a very tough team to beat. Perhaps the most notable thing I’ve noticed about this team, however, is its demeanor. When asked why he thought this team has overcome its late-game struggles and put together two game-winning plays early in the season, sophomore Jeremy Harness summed it up perfectly. “Everybody works together,� Harness said. “There’s no selfishness on our team. Nobody cares who gets the credit, everybody is out here for one goal, and that’s just to win. This team is a family. Everybody in there is my brother and we all come together every game and just play hard.� With a 1-0 start in the conference, and the next three games coming against Tennessee Tech, Southeast Missouri and Austin Peay - the three teams picked to finish at the bottom of the OVC standings - it could be a fun next few weeks for Murray football.


Tennis keeps finding success, earns several spots in finals Tom Via || Staff writer

Women’s tennis continued its impressive fall performance with five players claiming spots in the finals at the Steve Beras Classic hosted by UT Chattanooga. Head Coach Olga Elkin was impressed with the performance of her team against the tough competition. “I’m extremely proud of the way they all fought and competed,� Elkin said. “I have a group that works extremely hard.� In the tournament that featured six singles competitions, the Racers claimed two championships in both the No. 6 and No. 2 draws. Sophomore Suzaan Stoltz won the No. 6 draw, while senior Carla Suga and freshman Eleonore Tchakarova filled both spots in the No. 2 final. Stoltz was the top seed in the ninewoman field for the No. 6 draw and cruised easily into the finals with back-to-back straight set wins over two UT Martin opponents. In the finals, Stoltz faced her third Skyhawk of the competition; unlike the first two matches, Stoltz dropped the first set 6-4. Stoltz rallied from a 4-0 deficit to win the second set 6-4, and with the momentum Stoltz dominated her opponent 6-1 in the final to claim the victory. “She basically played all of UT Martin,� Elkin said. “It was a great tournament for her. It was the best I’ve seen her play.� In the No. 2 draw, Suga and Tchakarova earned their spots in the finals in different ways. Suga defeated both her opponents in straight sets (62, 6-3) to advance to the finals. Tchakarova had a more difficult path to the finals with a first-round win that needed seven games in the opening set, but the freshman would come away with the 7-5, 6-2 win. In the semifinals, Tchakarova dropped the opening set 6-2, but rallied with a 6-1 performance in the second set. She

advanced to the finals after her University of Alabama at Birmingham opponent retired trailing 4-1, giving the Racers both spots in the finals. In the top draw, junior Andrea Eskauriatza was matched up with the top seed from Kennesaw State and battled hard in the first set, winning 76 in a tiebreaker. She advanced with a 6-4 win in the second set. Much like her quarterfinal matchup, Eskauriatza would play extra games against her Eastern Kentucky opponent, but advance with a 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 win to put the Racers in their third final of the competition. In the matchup against Chattanooga's top player, Eskauriatza lost the opening set 6-1, but won 6-3 in the second set to force a decisive final set. The comeback fell short for Eskauriatza as she lost 6-2 in the final to take the runner-up spot. The Racers’ other finalist came from sophomore Erin Patton in the No. 5 draw. Matched up against the No. 2 seed, Patton won in straight sets 6-2, 7-6. In the semifinals Patton defeated her EKU opponent in straight sets 6-4, 6-1. In the finals, Patton lost the first set 6-2 and tried to rally in the second set. Patton forced a tiebreaker, but lost in straight sets. Freshman Verginie Tchakarova and sophomore Megan Blue also competed in singles for the Racers. Blue claimed a fourth-place finish in the No. 3 draw, and Tchakarova took seventh in the No. 4 draw. “Overall in singles, everyone played extremely well,� Elkin said. “I’m so proud of the way our team competed against the tougher competition.� In the doubles portion of the tournament, the Racers’ freshmen Tchakarova sisters were the second seed in the No. 2 draw. The duo swept its opening round opponent 8-0 but fell in the semifinals to the host school 8-3. In the third-place game Sunday, the sisters lost 8-5. In the No. 1 draw, Elkin paired Es-

Lori Allen/The News

Junior Andrea Eskauriatza fell in the third set of her singles final to take second place. kauriatza and Suga together. In a competitive quarterfinal, the Racers fell short of the win with an 8-6 loss but bounced back with a win by the same score to play in the fifth-place match. In its final match, the team lost in a tiebreaker 8-7. “Andrea and Carla played their best doubles this past weekend,� Elkins said. “They are working together and getting better and make a strong team.� Much like their teammates in the No. 1 draw, the Racer team of Blue and Patton fell in a close first-round matchup in the No. 3 draw. They came

back with a dominant 8-2 win before falling in the fifth place match, 8-3. “We had a tough doubles weekend,� Elkin said. “We will spend our break working hard on that area.� The Racers now have four weeks to prepare for their final tournament of the fall season. “The team definitely needs to rest and recover after two tournaments,� Elkin said. “Everyone has something individual that they need to work on, so we will work individually tightening up those parts of their games.� Women’s tennis returns to action Oct. 25-27 at Arkansas State.





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October 4, 2013

Men four strokes short in first home tournament Mallory Tucker || Staff writer

Sophomore Preston French was the standout of the menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s golf team as he took first place at the Murray State Invitational Tuesday. Placing fourth overall as a team at the two-day home tournament, the Racers fell to Lipscomb, Alabama State and Eastern Kentucky at Frances E. Miller Memorial Golf Course. Head Coach Eddie Hunt said a few players competed well, but the rest of the team seemed to struggle. â&#x20AC;&#x153;(French) had a really great tournament,â&#x20AC;? Hunt said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We just didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get a good performance from the other team members, and I was disappointed. I feel like we really should have won the tournament.â&#x20AC;? Lipscomb and Alabama State tied for first with a score of 857, and Eastern Kentucky followed with at a score of 860. Murray was one stroke behind with 361. Hunt said going into the tournament the team was doing well, but it didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t play very well. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know if it was being at home and expecting a win and not getting it,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A couple of them responded really

well, so it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the whole team. We were disappointed we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t win the tournament, especially by four strokes.â&#x20AC;? Coach Hunt said he foresees French as possibly being his standout golfer of the season.

Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always had a pretty dominant golfer over the years â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a player of the year every year â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and I think Preston has the ability to be able to do that. - Eddie Hunt, menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s golf head coach â&#x20AC;&#x153;Prestonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not only a good golfer, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s probably the hardest working player I have and I think the results show that,â&#x20AC;? he said. Hunt said French has worked hard over the summer and into the fall. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He just played tremendous,â&#x20AC;? Hunt said.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ask for any more. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always had a pretty dominant golfer over the years â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a player of the year every year â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and I think Preston has the ability to be able to do that. I think he has the opportunity to be one of the best golfers in the conference.â&#x20AC;? French said he was more surprised by his winning performance than his coach. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I guess I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really expect it because I was behind going into the last day,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I played well all day, but in the end I gave a stroke away on 17, and I kind of thought it was going to cost me.â&#x20AC;? French said it was a good feeling when he found out he won. As the season progresses, both French and Hunt said they hope to gain experience as a team as they search for the five players to set the lineup. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Half the team will play good, half the team will play bad,â&#x20AC;? French said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just about being patient â&#x20AC;&#x201C; not just with a round, but over the course of the season. We have to stick with the process and try to get better instead of focusing on the results.â&#x20AC;?

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Sophomore Preston French took first place in the Racersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; home tournament.

Women disappointed with ninth-place f inish Mallory Tucker || Staff writer

A ninth-place finish at the Old Waverly Bulldog Invitational in West Point, Miss., left the womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s golf team unsatisfied. Head Coach Velvet Milkman said the team knew it could have done better. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was disappointed in where we finished because I know weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a better team than that,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But I feel like we were about five holes away from having a decent tournament.â&#x20AC;? Milkman said the team finished poorly on the second day and that cost them the tournament. Host team Mississippi State won the tournament with a score of 844, with East Carolina taking second with an 865. Milkman said she was glad her players had the chance to compete against a school like Mississippi State. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re very talented, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good to see that kind of competition,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Obviously playing on your home course gives you an advantage, but they did fantastic.â&#x20AC;? Milkman said the competition was more experienced, so they hit the critical shots more than the Racers did. Milkman said she believes her young team will continue to improve as they face tough competition this season. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I saw a lot of improvement in their mental toughness,â&#x20AC;? Milkman said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have that when they finished on the second day. (Wednesday) when they struggled, and they all struggle at times, they were able to fight through that, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a huge step forward, which is encouraging.â&#x20AC;? With three freshmen in her starting lineup, Milkman said knows consistency will be difficult at times, but sees potential in her young players. Freshmen Jackie Van Meter, Minta Yin and Sydney Trimble finished second through fourth for the Racers. Senior Delaney Howson led the team individually. Howson took 20th place out of the 60 individual competitors. Looking ahead to their tournament at Austin Peay on Oct. 14-15, Milkman already has practice plans for her players.

Kate Russell/The News

Freshman Sydney Trimble finished fourth individually on the Murray State team Wednesday.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a very difficult course, with very big greens and a lot of speed,â&#x20AC;? Milkman said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to work on our approach for some of the greens. It has to be below the hole, and our chipping needs to get better.â&#x20AC;? Although ninth place out of eleven teams is not the finish she had hoped for, Milkman left her team with words of encouragement. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I told them, all athletes get knocked down, champions get up and fight,â&#x20AC;? Milkman said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what they did today.â&#x20AC;? The team has more than a week to prepare for its next tournament, which will be held at Austin Peay Oct. 14-15.

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