SIU volleyball wins 5-set thriller with Illinois State
SIU volleyball has a winning streak once again.
The Salukis now have two wins in a row after winning a five-set match Friday against Illinois State on the road.
With the win, SIU (19-9, 10-4 Missouri Valley Conference) is now a half-game up on Northern Iowa (18-8, 9-4 MVC) for third place in the conference standings with four matches to go.
Things looked bleak out of the gate for SIU after Illinois State (15-10, 8-5 MVC) had a strong set from junior middle blocker Jaelyn Keene to win the frame 25-14.
Keene had two service aces in addition to two kills in the set.
SIU had 10 errors in the first set and hit -.027.
Despite the poor first set, the Salukis were able to bounce back in the second set with a 26-24 victory.
The Redbirds were able to come back from a late five-point deficit to tie it up at 23.
Two kills from junior outside hitter Andrea Estrada helped SIU clinch the set and tie the match at one set a piece.
Estrada had another strong match for SIU overall with match-highs in kills (16) and digs (21).
The Dawgs returned the favor from the first set in set three with an emphatic 25-15 set victory.
SIU hit .280 in the set, with four kills from junior outside hitter Abby Barrow, who was one of three Salukis with double-digit kills.
The Salukis held a one-point lead in the set at 14-13 before going on an 11-2 run to close the set.
They were unable to hold the momentum as Illinois State came back strong with an even more emphatic 25-12 set victory.
SIU had its worst set of the night, hitting -.054 with nine errors. The Redbirds only committed two errors in the set.
Momentum shifted once again in the fifth set as SIU marched out to a 5-1 lead and kept its distance from Illinois State to win the set 15-8.
Barrow finished strong after struggling early with four kills in the final set with a service ace.
SIU will try to make it three wins in a row at 6 p.m. Saturday against Indiana State in Terre Haute.