Daily Egyptian

SIU volleyball off to rough start in Miami-Ohio Invitational tournament

Daily Egyptian file photo.

Daily Egyptian file photo.

By Dillon Gilliland

SIU volleyball lost both matches on the first day of the Miami-Ohio Invitational Tournament, getting swept 3-0 by Western Kentucky in match one and failing to protect an early 2-0 lead in match two, allowing Northern Arizona to take a 3-2 win.

Match one- 10:30 a.m. against Western Kentucky University (WKU)

SIU met perennial Conference USA powerhouse WKU in its first match of the tournament. The last meeting between the Salukis and the Lady Toppers, during the Western Kentucky Invitational last season, ended with Western Kentucky taking a decisive 3-1 victory.

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Southern went back and forth with Western Kentucky in the first set. Halfway into the set, WKU shifted the momentum in its favor, taking the opener 25-16.

The Salukis fired back in the second set taking an early 3-1 lead. The Lady Toppers quickly regained control of the set and shut down SIU for a 25-18 set win.

WKU went on to win the third set in dominant fashion 25-17 to complete the 3-0 sweep, denying SIU redemption for last season’s tourney loss while sending the Salukis into their second match of the round-robin tournament with an 0-1 record.

Match two- 3:00 p.m. against Northern Arizona University (NAU)

The Salukis came into the first set proving they can indeed bounce back from a big loss, rallying against an early 12-5 NAU lead to take the first set 26-24.

With their first set-win of the tournament under their belt, the Salukis came into the second set battling back and forth once again with NAU to put on another nail-biting set. Southern managed to come out on top in the second set 25-23.

SIU came into the third set hoping to put NAU away, taking an early 4-1 lead. NAU battled its way back into the set to take a convincing 25-13 set win.

NAU carried the momentum into the fourth set as it took a 10-5 lead. The Salukis managed to turn the set into yet another thriller with a late rally, but NAU managed to come out on top to tie the match 2-2 and force a decisive fifth set.

The Salukis came out eager for a win in the fifth set taking a demanding 7-1 lead. Once again Northern Arizona proved to be resilient, coming from behind to take the fifth set 15-13 for a 3-2 match win.

Highlights

Senior outside hitter Abby Barrow led the team in kills in match one with nine, finishing with 20 total kills across both matches Friday.

Senior outside hitter Andrea Estrada led the team in kills in match two with 14, finishing with 19 across both matches.

Sophomore setter Alayna Martin led the Salukis in assists in both matches — with 21 in match one and 44 in match two — totaling 65 on the day. Martin also led the Salukis in aces with five, all coming in match two against NAU.

Senior libero Ashley Edelen led the team in digs with a total of 27 on Friday.

Up Next

SIU (0-2) plays one more game in the round-robin tournament at 10:30 a.m on Saturday against Miami University before returning home to prepare for its Tuesday match-up against visiting Arkansas State University.  The home-opener is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and will take place in SIU Arena.

Sports reporter Dillon Gilliland can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @DillonGilliland.

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

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