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SIU volleyball is 3-0 in MVC for first time in 21 years

Senior+middle+hitter+Mckenzie+Dorris+%2814%29+and+junior+outside+hitter+Abby+Barrow+attempt+a+block+during+the+Salukis%27+3-2+win+over+Northern+Iowa+on+Friday%2C+Sept.+23%2C+2016%2C+at+Davies+Gym.+%28Athena+Chrysanthou+%7C+%40Chrysant1Athena%29
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SIU volleyball is 3-0 in MVC for first time in 21 years

Senior middle hitter Mckenzie Dorris (14) and junior outside hitter Abby Barrow attempt a block during the Salukis' 3-2 win over Northern Iowa on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016, at Davies Gym. (Athena Chrysanthou | @Chrysant1Athena)

Senior middle hitter Mckenzie Dorris (14) and junior outside hitter Abby Barrow attempt a block during the Salukis' 3-2 win over Northern Iowa on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016, at Davies Gym. (Athena Chrysanthou | @Chrysant1Athena)

Senior middle hitter Mckenzie Dorris (14) and junior outside hitter Abby Barrow attempt a block during the Salukis' 3-2 win over Northern Iowa on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016, at Davies Gym. (Athena Chrysanthou | @Chrysant1Athena)

Senior middle hitter Mckenzie Dorris (14) and junior outside hitter Abby Barrow attempt a block during the Salukis' 3-2 win over Northern Iowa on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016, at Davies Gym. (Athena Chrysanthou | @Chrysant1Athena)

By Jesse Robertson

After its 3-2 victory over Missouri State on Monday, Saluki volleyball is 3-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference for the first time in 21 years.

The first set was a rough one for SIU (12-5, 3-0 MVC) as Missouri State (9-7, 0-2 MVC) went on runs of 13-4 and 10-4 to win the set 25-13.

Reigning MVC Player of the Year, junior outside hitter Lily Johnson, had seven of Missouri State’s 14 kills in the set. She finished the match with a game-high 25 kills.

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MSU held a tremendous hitting advantage of .609 compared to SIU’s .077 after the first set.

SIU returned the favor in the second set, marching out to a 12-5 lead that would become a 25-16 set victory.

Once the third set started, SIU jumped out to 5-1 lead and was in control early. Missouri State brought the score back at 10-10 and the two teams exchanged mini runs throughout the rest of set to a 22-22 tie, but Missouri State prevailed late, 25-23.

The Dawgs had their strongest set statistically in the fourth with a .447 hitting percentage.

Junior outside hitter Abby Barrow had a strong string of five straight kills for SIU and finished with seven during the set.

Overall, she had a team-high 20 kills during the match.

The fifth set was tight early at 4-4 until SIU went on a 5-1 run and never looked back for a 15-13 set win and overall 3-2 match win.

Senior setter/hitter Meg Viggars and junior middle hitter Kolby Meeks combined to score that match-winning point on a block, an advantage the Salukis held all night. SIU had 13 blocks compared to Missouri State’s five.

The Dawgs continue conference play at 7 p.m. Friday against Bradley in Peoria.

Staff writer Jesse Robertson can be reached at [email protected] or 618-536-3333.

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