Salukis claim their first conference win this season over Valpo

By Adam Warfel, Staff Reporter

Southern beat Valparaiso today in five sets (25-17,17-25,27-25,15-13) giving them their first win in Missouri Valley Conference play.

The Salukis (2-5, 1-4)  put out a 4-2 lead early in the first set with freshman middle hitter Imani Hartfield getting a kill and senior opposite hitter Emma Baalman added a kill for SIU.

Baalman added another kill, then when it came her turn to serve an attack error on Valpo (2-4, 1-4) gave SIU the 8-4 edge.

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Two kills from freshman outside hitter Tatum Tornatta a 14-9 lead for the Salukis. Valparaiso answered the lead with two straight points with two kills both being assisted by freshman setter Victoria Buhlman.

Valpo had two kills in a row from junior outside hitter Jillie Grant pulling them within one of the Salukis, forcing SIU head coach Ed Allen to call a timeout.

Southern answered out of the timeout with a 4-1 run with senior setter Rachel Maguire assisting on a kill and getting an ace off of her serve to make it 19-15.

A 6-2 run by the Salukis resulted in a first set win 25-17, with Tornatta ending the set with a kill.

Freshman outside hitter Morgan Taylor got a kill to tie the second set at two. Led by two kills from Grant and a service error on the Salukis Valpo went on a 5-0 run.

Valparaiso went up as much as 9-3 early in the second set, but a 5-1 run by  SIU with Taylor getting a kill, a block and an ace to pull the Salukis back within two.

Valpo went on a 6-1 run to open up a 18-11 lead with two kills from V. Buhlman and junior middle hitter Haley Hart leading the way for Valparaiso. 

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A kill by freshman outside hitter Alex Washington pulled the Salukis within five but a 5-2 run led to a 25-17 win for Valparaiso.

In set three Valpo opened up a 3-1 lead after an attack error by Tornatta, but kills by Baalman and Tornatta tied the set back up for the Salukis.

Both teams traded leads early in the third set with junior outside hitter Hannah Becker getting a kill to tie the score at nine.

Becker finished the match with 17 kills adding in six blocks.

With SIU down 18-14 a kill by Maguire, an ace by Baalman and an attack error on Valparaiso pulled the Salukis within one.

Southern was able to get the set tied at 19 with back to back kills from Hartfield and Tornatta. Valpo answered the tie with a 3-0 run with two kills from senior middle hitter Peyton McCarthy.

Facing the set point, SIU answered with back to back kills from Taylor and Baalman to bring the game to  24-24.

One kill from Morgan and one kill from Becker and a block by the Salukis led to a 27-24 set win giving them the 2-1 match advantage heading into the fourth set.

Both teams traded leads to open the fourth set, but Valparaiso went on a 5-1 run led by two kills from McCarthy to make it 12-8.

Valpo was able to maintain their lead at four with a 17-13 lead, but a service error by McCarthy and an attack error on Valparaiso pulled the Salukis back within two.

After a kill by Hartfield Southern closed within two late in the fourth set, but a kill by Grant won the set for Valparaiso 25-22.

The fifth set started much like the fourth with both teams trading leads and the Salukis were able to keep the game at three apiece after a kill by Hartfield from an assist from Maguire.

A 4-0 run by SIU with two kills from Taylor gave the Salukis a 7-4 lead halfway through the fifth set.

Valpo was able to cut the Southern lead down to two with two kills from senior outside hitter Jaclyn Buhlman.

Valparaiso tied the set at 11 after an ace, however SIU answered with a kill from Hartfield and a block from Hartfield and Tornatta.

SIU closed the fifth set out with a kill from Tornatta assisted by Maguire to win the fifth set 15-13 and win the match three sets to two.

The Salukis will be back tomorrow with the first serve set for 4pm against Valparaiso.

Sports Reporter Adam Warfel can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @warfel_adam.

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