Daily Egyptian

Salukis become conference leaders with win

By Evan Jones, @EvanJones_DE

SIU volleyball (23-7, 14-3) clinched a first round bye in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament and leads the conference going into the last regular season match.

The Salukis swept (25-23, 25-20, 25-22) Wichita State (23-8, 14-3) on Friday. The Dawgs won the season series 2-0 and would clinch a regular season MVC title with a win against Missouri State or a Shocker loss to Evansville on Saturday.

This is also SIU’s best finish in the MVC standings in program’s history.

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Four early blocks for the Salukis established their play at the net. Sophomore middle hitter Alex Rosignol contributed on three.

“Coming into the game we knew it was going to be tough” Rosignol said. “Those early blocks really gave us confidence for the rest of the match.”

Rosignol finished the match with four kills on seven attempts with an error, four blocks and a dig.

SIU ended the first set with five overall errors compared to Wichita’s 11.

The Salukis had their 19-14 lead diminish with a 4-0 run by Wichita in the second set. Sophomore outside hitter Andrea Estrada nailed a service ace to give SIU a 22-18 lead. Wichita could not mount a comeback in the set.

At the end of the second set senior Taylor Pippen led SIU with seven kills at a .636 efficiency and five blocks.

“We were in the locker room losing it,” Pippen said. “We were feeling really confident, The conference title was on our minds.” 

Pippen finished the match with nine kills on 16 attempts with seven blocks and one dig.

There were five ties in the first 10 points scored of the third set.

After the Shockers led 5-4 early lead, they didn’t lead the rest of the match, but tied the set at 21 and 22, before losing.

SIU finished the match hitting for a .289 efficiency and 11 blocks. 

Wichita committed 30 total errors, SIU had 16.

The sweep of the Shockers was the Salukis’ first in 15 years, and the season sweep of Wichita was SIU’s first since 1995.

“Every game is the same, we just want to play well,” Ingram said. “We’re enjoying the win, now we need to refocus.”

SIU plays Missouri State 7 p.m. Saturday in Springfield, Mo. 

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

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