SIU volleyball wins six straight after a sweep of Evansville

By Evan Jones, @EvanJones_DE

The SIU volleyball team (20-7, 11-3) extended its winning streak to six after a sweep (25-16, 25-19, 25-13) of Evansville (8-20, 2-12) on Saturday night.

The Missouri Valley Conference’s leading scorer, Evansville sophomore hitter Genises Miranda, did not play in the match.

In a first set where SIU led the entire way after a 1-1 tie, it sided out 10 of 11 opportunities before Evansville scored five straight on set point. 

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Last week’s Missouri Valley Conference defensive player of the week, junior setter Meg Viggars, opened up the match with six kills on 10 attempts and added a block.

“November seems to be our time to shine,” Viggars said. “As long as we keep improving we just need to take it game by game.”

The past four seasons the SIU volleyball team is 15-4 in the month of November. 

The second set was closer than the first. The final score was the Salukis’ largest lead of the set. Evansville held its first lead of the match at the beginning of the second set when it was up 2-1. Southern led the rest of the set, but never led by more than five.

Sophomore outside hitter Shannon Hagen led the Saluki offense in the second set with four kills on five attempts.

“I’m getting more playing time,” Hagen said. “I think we’re all feeling pretty good about how we’re playing right now.”

After a closer second set, SIU led the entire third set.

Closing out the sweep hitting for a team total of .286 attack efficiency and siding out 66 percent of the time, Coach Justin Ingram said he wasn’t entirely pleased with how his team finished the match.

The Salukis have already clinched a spot in the MVC tournament, and are currently in sole possesion of second place in the conference. 

But Ingram said his players aren’t satisfied.

“20 wins wasn’t one of our goals,” Ingram said. “The team had identified the goal of making history on their own before the season.”

The SIU volleyball team has never finished the regular season higher than third place in the MVC.

SIU plays Illinois State 7 p.m. Friday in Davies Gym.

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

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