Volleyball takes two out of three at Colonel Classic


Isabel Miller | @Isabelmmedia

The Saluki bench reacts on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 during the Salukis’ 3-1 win against the Southeastern Louisiana University Lions at the Banterra Center.

Following their first victory of the season in Tennessee earlier this week, the SIU Volleyball team (3-3) made a trip down south to Thibodaux Louisianna for the annual Colonel Classic. The Salukis played three games over the weekend set, two on Friday and one on Saturday. The dawgs dropped their first one to UC San Diego but rallied back for two sweeps against Southern University and Nichols.

It was very much a combined effort throughout the tournament for the Salukis as four Salukis managed 22+ kills across the three matches. Freshman Ceci Buhlman (28), juniors Tatum Tornatta (27) and Imani Hartfield (27), and senior Nataly Garcia (22) all reached the 22-kill mark across the tournament.

Helping everyone was sophomore Anna Jaworski, who tallied a massive share of assists at 101 across the three games. On the defensive side, it was a big help defensively with 20 digs of her own. But it was freshman Claudia Bobb who was the biggest defender of the tournament, putting up 36 digs throughout.


SIU started the match against UC San Diego actually pretty competitively, by taking an 8-5 lead quickly, however, an 11-3 run for the Tritons gave them the edge down the stretch for the 21-14 lead. 

In set two, the Salukis again managed a three-point lead over the Tritons midway, before another 11-3 stretch put the Salukis in a hole too deep to dig out of for set two. In set three the Tritons took the lead 2-1 and never let up throughout, handing the Salukis their third loss of the year.

Later in the day, SIU rebounded against Southern University with a start-to-finish win in set one, where they never gave up the lead. A competitive start to set two made things interesting down 10-9, but an amazing 16-3 finish to set two had SIU on the brink of a win. They carried that momentum into set three with a massive 25-10 win to earn their second win of the season.

Friday afternoon’s win opened the door for a positive ending to the tournament over Nichols. As the away team, the Salukis competed to a 12-9 lead in set one before some Colonel’s kills briefly gave them the advantage. A close set was disrupted by Bobb who started an 8-3 stretch to close out set one with a win for the Salukis.

Set two was a much different story, which had the Salukis going past the 25-point mark to win the set 26-24. A kill by Hartfield coupled with an error by Nichols put SIU on the brink of their second win in a row. In set three, earned a start-to-finish win over the Colonels by six points at 25-18, to cap off the Colonel Classic.

The Salukis will look to make another positive performance out of their trip to Conway Arkansas next week for the Central Arkansas Invitational. Their first game will be Friday, Sept 9 starting at 1 p.m against Louisiana Tech (2-5).

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


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