Salukis qualify for tournament, lose in first round

By Gus Bode

The SIU volleyball team didn’t mind spending its Thanksgiving on the road.

The Salukis earned a No. 6 seed in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament with a sweep of Indiana State on Nov. 16.

However, the Salukis (15-16, 7-12 MVC) would not advance past the first round as they were knocked off by No. 3 Creighton in four games – 25-30, 30-16, 30-24, 30-22.


Junior right side Kristie Berwanger led the attack with 11 kills and 11 digs and her sister freshman outside hitter Jennifer Berwanger added nine kills and 15 digs.

Kristie Berwanger said the team knew it had nothing to lose going into the match but was unable to control Creighton’s premier player, senior middle back Kelly Goc – who recorded 20 kills in the match.

Coach Brenda Winkeler said season long struggles with ball control and Creighton’s decision to switch its game plan in the second game hurt the Salukis in their final game of the season.

“It was a great year but I think the same issues that have kind of plagued us all year came to the table,” Winkeler said.

Winkeler credited her team with being positive through the post season and is anxious to see what the team can bring to the court as it will return all six starting players next season.

“The kids said our goal this year was to make the tournament and next season it should increase and be knock off those top teams,” Winkeler said.

Although the Salukis’ season ended with a loss, postseason awards keep rolling in for members of the team.


Sophomore middle blocker Chandra Roberson and Jennifer Berwanger were both named to all-Missouri Valley Conference teams.

Roberson was named second team all-MVC while Jennifer Berwanger earned a spot on the freshman all conference team.

Kristie Berwanger was one of 12 named to the MVC All-Scholar team and one of nine MVC players to earn All-Tournament honors.

The Salukis will begin individual workouts in January and begin a brief spring season after returning from spring break.

Megan Kramper can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 282 or [email protected].