SIU beats Evansville in four set matchup

The volleyball team’s second win over Evansville this season put SIU fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference standings.

After losing the first set to Evansville (3-11, 8-19 MVC), the Salukis bounced back to take the last three sets 25-22, 26-24, 25-12 for its 19th season win.

SIU (19-6, 9-5) is now one game away from a 20-win season, which would be the first time since 2002.

Even though the Salukis outhit the Purple Aces with a .244 hitting percentage compared to Evansville’s .188 in the first set, SIU never took the lead.

The Aces jumped out to a four-point lead in the second set before a kill and two blocks by senior middle blocker Alysia Mayes brought the teams to a 6-6 tie.

Mayes recorded 16 kills in the match with a .500 efficiency. She also had four solo blocks — three in the second set — and assisted in seven blocks.

The second set’s final two points came from Evansville attack errors. SIU held the team to a .027 hitting percentage in the set.

“After the first set, we knew we needed to make the most of small ball opportunities,” coach Justin  Ingram said. “We had to control the ball with efficient passing to be able to set up our middles, and that really started working for us.”

SIU went on a seven-point run in the third set with kills by Mayes and senior outside hitter Laura Thole. Thole recorded a double-double for the night with 10 kills and 10 digs. The teams traded points until they were tied at 24. Mayes knocked down the last two points for the Salukis’ second set win.

The team easily took the fourth set after an 11-point run with kills from freshman middle blocker Taylor Pippen, who had 13 during the match.

SIU will take on Northern Iowa and Bradley at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Davies Gymnasium. The team lost to Northern Iowa Oct. 13 in three sets and beat Bradley in five Oct. 12.

 

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