Saukis swept but retain No. 2 MVC ranking

By Evan Jones, @EvanJones_DE

SIU volleyball (23-8, 14-4) lost to Missouri State (22-9, 13-5) in three sets (17-25, 20-25, 23-25).

The loss against Missouri State combined with Wichita State’s win against Evansville secured SIU’s No. 2 finish in the Missouri Valley Conference standings.

SIU has a bye in the first round of the MVC tournament, meaning it does not have to play Thursday. It plays the winner of Loyola and Missouri State match on at 7:30 p.m. Friday.


Despite the team’s first loss in 10 matches, the Salukis finished the season with the best MVC ranking in program history.

“We’ve earned the bye,” coach Justin Ingram said. “This match wasn’t the prettiest. Our expectations is to put together a better product.”

There were five lead changes and seven ties in the first 17 points of the match.

After SIU led 10-8 in the first set, MSU scored four straight points to gain the lead. It led the remainder of the set.

A timeout was called by Ingram in an attempt to slow the momentum of the Bears. Missouri State scored three straight points after the timeout to go up 17-11.

“Our offense is dictated on good or perfect passes,” Ingram said. “We didn’t have enough of them tonight. We need to go look at the video and see what we can improve on.”

Ingram called his second timeout after he trailed 19-12.


SIU closed the gap with a 3-0 run late in the set to force the Bears to call a timeout when the score was 23-16. The Dawgs could not complete the comeback.

The second set started with Missouri State leading 10-4 with five straight points.

SIU kept the score close with a 3-0 run of its own, capped off by a block by sophomore hitters Nellie Fredriksson and Alex Rosignol, making the score 11-8.

“We were talking about how we had to shut down Johnson and Wright,” Rosignol said. “We thought if we did that we would win the match.”

Missouri State sophomore outside hitter Lily Johnson had 17 kills, sophomore middle hitter Lynsey Wright had seven kills in the match.

Missouri State had six service aces through two sets.

While the Salukis never led, they remained within one to five points the remainder of the set and lost 25-20.

SIU opened the third set with three errors but responded with three straight points to make the score 5-4 in favor of the Salukis. It was the first lead for the Dawgs since the score was 10-8 in the first set.

After the Salukis opened up its largest lead of the set at 16-11, Missouri State scored three straight points, forcing Ingram to call his first timeout of the set. 

Missouri State tied the score at 20, and again at 21 late in the set, and regained the lead at 22-21.

Junior libero Mariana Pilon served a ball into the net with the score at 24-22, MSU. The ball rolled over the net and landed between two Missouri State defenders scoring an ace for the Salukis.

Missouri State’s Johnson tallied her team-leading 17th kill of the night to end the match.

The Salukis’ 61 digs tied their season high for a three-set match. Pilon led the Salukis’ with 17.

“I had to improve my digging,” Pilon said. “We have a lot of work to do, this was a bad loss.”

The MVC tournament begins Thursday in the Hammons Student Center in Springfield, Mo.

Evan Jones can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @EvanJones_DE