SIU Volleyball Earns first win of the season sweeps UT Martin


Jared Treece | @bisalo

The team reacts to Alex Washington, middle, as she comes up with a score for SIU vs. EIU. SIU would later on drop their early 2-0 lead and fall to EIU 3-2 on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021 during the Saluki Invitational at the Banterra Center at SIU.

After hosting their annual Saluki Bash tournament last weekend, the SIU volleyball team (1-2) was back in action Tuesday with their first road trip of the season to UT Martin (2-2). The girls made it count by taking the victory over the Skyhawks in three sets.

However, it wasn’t an easy sweep as UT Martin pushed things past 25 points in sets two and three of the matchup. The Salukis took the first set by a score of 25-22, while set two with a 27-25 final score, and set three in a 29-27 standoff.

Stepping up to the stage for the Salukis was senior Nataly Garcia, who led the team in kills (14), points (16), and blocks (1) on the night. She also tallied 11 digs throughout as well. By her side was sophomore Anna Jaworski, who tallied 42 assists for the night along with four kills and five digs.


A close first set played itself out to a 15-14 lead for the Skyhawks, but the Salukis went on a 5-1 run to retake the lead at 19-16. The Skyhawks tried to make things close late with a 3-0 run on the set point, but a timeout allowed freshman Ceci Bulmahn to dish out the killing blow to take the 1-0 lead in set one.

Set two went in the Saluki’s favor to start, giving them a 10-4 lead to open. The errors started to surmount for the Salukis and allowed the UT Martin back in it at 16-13. Points then traded for a little while, before the Skyhawks turned the gas on to finish, going on a 7-2 run and putting SIU’s backs to the wall at 25-24. Luckily, junior Imani Hartfeld’s kill tied it up to allow two attack errors by UT martin, and all of the sudden the Salukis were up 2-0.

The Skyhawks took the early lead in the third to try to start the rally. They went up 11-6 with the help of some errors by the Salukis. However, a massive 10-2 run for the Salukis put them back in front at 16-13. SIU marched to the finish line trying to hold their lead and got the Skyhawks down to the match point. A 4-0 run continued for UT Martin and things were deadlocked at 24-all.

A bad set by Jaworski gave the Skyhawks the opportunity they needed, but a kill from junior Tatum Tornatta and two aces by UT Martin earned SIU their first victory of the season over UT Martin.

The Salukis will look to start their first win streak of the season this Friday, as they travel to Louisiana for the Colonel Classic Invite. They’ll start by playing UC San Diego (2-1) at noon.

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

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