Saluki Volleyball falls just short of taking Saluki Bash championship.

Freshman+setter+Anna+Jaworski%2C+left%2C+reacts+after+a+scoring+play+by+Tatum+Tornatta%2C+right%2C+during+SIUs+3-2+comeback+win+against+UT+Martin+during+the+Saluki+Bash+tournament+on+Friday%2C+Sept.+3%2C+2021+at+the+Banterra+Center+at+SIU.+

Jared Treece | @bisalo

Freshman setter Anna Jaworski, left, reacts after a scoring play by Tatum Tornatta, right, during SIU’s 3-2 comeback win against UT Martin during the Saluki Bash tournament on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021 at the Banterra Center at SIU.

By Joseph Bernard, Staff Reporter

The SIU Women’s Volleyball team lost 3-1 to Oral Roberts University in the Saluki Bash championship game on Sept 4.

Saluki Volleyball managed two wins in the tournament prior to the championship, beating Alabama A&M 3-0 and University of Tennessee-Martin 3-2 on Sept. 3.

Headlining the tournament for the Salukis was Junior Outside hitter Nataly Garcia with 38 total kills throughout the tournament. Also making an impact was Freshman Setter Anna Jaworski, who broke a Saluki record with her 72 total assists in the team’s win over UT Martin. Jaworski finished the tournament with an impressive 139 assists throughout the weekend.

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Sophomore Middle Hitter Margherita Giani led the Salukis in Blocks with 12. Sophomore Outside Hitter Alex Washington led the Salukis in Aces with 5, and Senior Defensive Specialist Katy Kluge led the Salukis in Digs with 47 throughout the tournament.

The Salukis got off to a hot start in the tournament against Alabama A&M, sweeping the Bulldogs in quick fashion. The Salukis never let the Bulldogs get more than 15 points in any of the sets and only lost the lead for the first point of the third set throughout the match.

The second match on Friday against UT Martin wasn’t as smooth, but ended with the result the Salukis were looking for. SIU quickly found themselves down 2-1 and facing a loss late in the fourth set, but a comeback was brewing and the Salukis won set 4 with some extra time on a score of 28-30. They later won set five to secure a spot in the championship match Saturday afternoon.

The championship match began well for SIU, winning the first set 19-25. However, Oral Roberts learned from their mistakes in the first set and won the next three, with the Salukis keeping it competitive throughout. The Golden Eagles beat the Salukis 25-16, 25-20, and a nail-biter in set four at 25-22, winning the Saluki Bash championship.

Although the tournament didn’t end how the Salukis wanted it to, SIU matched and eclipsed their win total from last season just in the past two days, a sign of brighter days to come for Saluki Volleyball.

Saluki Volleyball returns to Davies Gym Tuesday afternoon in a match versus Saint Louis University with a start time of 6 p.m.

Sports reporter Joseph Bernard can be reached at [email protected] or on twitter @Jojobernard2001

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