SIU gets last look at potential postseason opponents

By Aaron Graff

SIU volleyball got one last look at two teams that clinched a spot in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.

The Salukis (15-14, 9-8) extended their win-streak to five matches by upsetting the Missouri State Bears (17-10, 10-5) 3-2 Friday. The streak was snapped with a 3-0 loss to the Wichita State Shockers (17-8, 11-4) Saturday.

MSU defeated SIU 3-0 Oct. 18 in Davies Gym, but the Salukis evened the season series. SIU trailed 2-1 and won 3-2 for the second time in three matches.

Advertisement

Four Saluki players had more than 10 kills. Junior hitter Taylor Pippen led the way with 12. Freshman outside hitter Abby Barrow, redshirt freshman outside hitter Andrea Estrada, and freshman outside hitter Nellie Fredriksson all had 11.

“What’s good about that method of production is the even distribution,” coach Justin Ingram said. “Everybody pulling almost equal weight is hard to do. Certainly for opponents it’s hard to defend, because you’re not in the mind of one person.”

Saturday the Salukis had no players reach 10 kills. Sophomore setter/hitter Meg Viggars led the team with 8.

Ingram said SIU was not prepared for Wichita.

“They went on a serving run and really deflated our everything,” Ingram said. “Our response to that wasn’t fast enough.”

WSU defeated SIU 3-0 Oct. 17 and swept the season series against the Salukis.

Ingram said the Salukis will likely face the Bears, Shockers or the Northern Iowa Panthers (18-9, 12-3) in the first round of the tournament.

Advertisement

“We definitely knew we’d see [MSU or WSU] again,” Pippen said. “Going into the conference tournament, we wanted to play well so we had some more confidence.”

The Salukis have their final regular season match against the University of Evansville Purple Aces (8-20, 4-12) 7 p.m., Friday in Evansville.

Aaron Graff can be contacted at [email protected], on Twitter @Aarongraff_DE or 536-3311 ext. 269

Advertisement