Daily Egyptian

Saluki volleyball starter transfers after one season

Saluki+freshman+defensive+specialist+Tara+Routliffe+poses+with+a+volleyball.+%28Daily+Egyptian+file+photo%29
Saluki freshman defensive specialist Tara Routliffe poses with a volleyball. (Daily Egyptian file photo)

Saluki freshman defensive specialist Tara Routliffe poses with a volleyball. (Daily Egyptian file photo)

Saluki freshman defensive specialist Tara Routliffe poses with a volleyball. (Daily Egyptian file photo)

By Ted Ward

The Saluki volleyball team will be missing a key player from its first-ever NCAA tournament squad this upcoming season.

Freshman libero Tara Routliffe, who played just one season with SIU, is transferring to the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky., the Patriots announced in late July.

“We are very excited with the addition of Tara,” Patriots Coach Kathryn Hart said in a news release of the Caledon, Ontario, Canada native. “She will help elevate our program, especially on the defensive side of the ball.”

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The 5-foot-10 libero, who was a big part of SIU’s success last season, started in 25 of 33 matches, recording 22 service aces with 218 digs, 1.74 per set.

MORE: It’s in the genes for Tara Routliffe | 2015-16: The comeback year of Saluki Athletics

Though a loss to the team, Justin Ingram — the Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year — is not short on options to replace Routliffe.

Ingram has four liberos on the roster, including senior Mariana Pilon, who led the Salukis with 3.71 digs per set last season, which ranked ninth in the MVC.

Junior Ashley Edelen is also an option. She started in eight of 33 matches last season, totaling 107 digs, 1.02 per set.

The Salukis begin their season Aug. 26 against Central Michigan in the IUPUI tournament in Indianapolis, Ind.

Staff writer Ted Ward can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @TedWard_DE.

To stay up to date with all your SIU news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

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