Redbirds defeat Southern in straight sets


Isabel Miller | @Isabelmmedia

Saluki Laura Rojas watches the ball on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 during the Salukis’ 0-3 loss against the University of Northern Iowa Panthers inside Davies Gym.

SIU women’s volleyball (2-17, 1-16 MVC) suffered a three-set loss against the Illinois State Redbirds (12-5, 10-3 MVC) on March 27 at Davies Gym. 

The Salukis fought hard in the first and second set, losing the first by seven points and the second set by two points. Southern started the third set with a nine-point deficit and was unable to gain the lead, losing 25-12.

Redshirt junior outside hitter Hannah Becker led the Salukis in kills with nine and sophomore outside hitter Sarah Kushner led the Redbirds with 12 kills. Illinois State led SIU in kills (45-28), aces (5-4), blocks (6-2) and digs (38-34).


Illinois State started the first set with a three-point run from a service ace by senior libero Kendal Meier and a kill by senior outside hitter Kaylee Martin.

The Redbirds continued to lengthen their lead 7-3, after kills by senior setter Stef Jankiewicz and Kushner.

The Salukis cut Illinois State’s lead down to two points after kills from freshman outside hitter Nsia Gittens and Becker.

The Redbirds’ lead was brought back up to 15-9 from kills by senior middle hitter Sydney Holt and Martin and attack errors from SIU.

Illinois State increased their lead 22-12 after attack errors by the Salukis and kills by Kushner, Martin and redshirt freshman middle blocker Nicole Lund.

Despite Southern’s effort, the Redbirds won the first set 25-18 after a kill by Holt.

 Scoring went back-and-forth in the beginning of the second set with kills by both teams, but the Salukis held the lead 9-6.


SIU continued to keep the lead after kills by redshirt senior middle hitter Emma Baalman and a service ace from Gittens, making the score 15-11.

Illinois State managed to tie the score 16-16 after going on a five-point run with kills by Kushner and attack errors by Becker and Gittens.

The Redbirds took the second set 25-23 after a neck and neck battle with the Salukis, giving them a 2-0 lead in the game.

The third set started with an early 10-1 lead for Illinois State with several kills from the Redbirds and attack errors from SIU.

The Redbirds lead continued to lengthen to 17-4 with kills from Kushner and Martin, along with some unforced errors from Salukis.

Illinois State kept the lead and won the set 25-12  after several kills, blocks, and aces from the Redbirds, winning the game 3-0. 

The Salukis will face Illinois State again on March 28 in the last regular season game in Davies Gym at 2 p.m.

Staff reporter Janae Mosby can be reached at or on Twitter at @mosbyj.

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