Carson VanBuskirk | @carsonvanbDE
Senior outside hitter Savannah Sheridan led the Salukis with 17 kills, but Missouri State’s junior outside hitter Amelia Flynn and sophomore outside hitter Brooklyn Cink combined for 30 kills to lead the Bears to a five-set win.
Coming off their split against Memphis on Jan. 22 and 23, Southern looked to open conference play with a win against Missouri State.
The Salukis (1-2, 0-1 MVC) opened the first set up with a 3-1 lead early, but four kills by Flynn and Cink gave MOST a 7-5 lead.
After closing the gap to two, four kills and an attack error pushed the Bears (5-1, 1-0 MVC) lead out to 16-10 in the first set.
Southern came as close as 20-18 but a 5-0 run led by two kills from sophomore middle blocker Azyah Green closed the first set for Missouri State as a win 25-18.
SIU opened the second set with a 3-1 lead with two kills, with one of them coming from senior Savannah Sheridan.
Missouri State then went on a 7-1 run with two attack errors to go along with one kill from Cink and Green to push out to a 8-4 lead.
After being down by four, the Salukis came out of a timeout with four straight points including two kills from Sheridan to knot the set at 15-15.
Sheridan finished the second set off for SIU with her fifth kill of the set leading to a 25-23 win.
A service error by the Bears and an ace by freshman outside hitter Alex Washington got Southern up 2-0 early in the third set.
SIU pushed out to a 11-6 lead with a 7-5 run with Sheridan leading the Salukis with two kills.
The Salukis pushed out to a 18-10 lead with a 6-4 run led with two kills by senior opposite hitter Emma Baalman.
A kill by freshman Tatum Tornatta and Sheridan closed the set scoring for Southern to clinch the third set 25-17.
Two kills from Flynn, and three attack errors on Southern helped the Bears push out to an 8-2 lead early in the fourth set.
After coming within three after a kill by junior outside hitter Hannah Becker, Missouri State went on 10-1 run, with four attack errors to give them a 16-6 advantage.
Southern came within seven points, but a kill by Green for the Bears and an attack error by the Salukis closed out a 25-15 fourth set win for Missouri State.
In the fifth set the Bears came out to a 4-2 lead with two kills from Cink, and SIU answered with a 5-2 run with two kills from Tornatta and one from Sheridan.
SIU had a 12-11 edge late in the fifth set, but the Bears closed out the fifth set on a 4-0 run with two attack errors on the Salukis to win the fifth set 15-12.
The Salukis will play the Bears again on Tuesday in Springfield, Mo,. with first serve set for 3 p.m.
Sports Reporter Adam Warfel can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @warfel_adam.
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