Daily Egyptian

SIU volleyball defeated in home opener

Freshman+opposite+hitter+Maggie+Nedoma%2C+2%2C+strikes+the+ball+Tuesday%2C+Aug.+29%2C+2017%2C+during+the+Salukis%27++3-1+loss+to+Arkansas+State+University+at+SIU+Arena.+%28Dylan+Nelson+%7C+%40DylanNelson99%29
Freshman opposite hitter Maggie Nedoma, 2, strikes the ball Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, during the Salukis'  3-1 loss to Arkansas State University at SIU Arena. (Dylan Nelson | @DylanNelson99)

Freshman opposite hitter Maggie Nedoma, 2, strikes the ball Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, during the Salukis' 3-1 loss to Arkansas State University at SIU Arena. (Dylan Nelson | @DylanNelson99)

Freshman opposite hitter Maggie Nedoma, 2, strikes the ball Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, during the Salukis' 3-1 loss to Arkansas State University at SIU Arena. (Dylan Nelson | @DylanNelson99)

By Nathan Dodd

SIU volleyball got the first opportunity their display skills on the Salukis’ home court Tuesday at SIU Arena against Arkansas State University, but fell to the Red Wolves 3-1.

The first set began with the Salukis falling behind Arkansas State by a score of 0-2. The Red Wolves maintained their lead over the Salukis until a service ace by SIU senior Andrea Estrada tied the set at 11.

SIU kept the momentum in their favor as senior Kolby Meeks registered a kill to give the Salukis a 12-11 lead. The score teetered between both clubs for the remainder of the match but it was the Red Wolves who went on an unanswered 4 point run to claim victory in the first set.

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Mary Newman | @MaryNewmanDE
Senior libero Ashley Edelen, 19, celebrates point with teammates Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, during the Salukis’ during the Salukis’ 3-1 loss to Arkansas State University at SIU Arena. (Mary Newman | @MaryNewmanDE)

In the second set, the tally remained neck and neck until the Salukis took a 7-6 lead. SIU did not surrender the lead for the remainder of the set and finished with a 25-22 victory.

Arkansas State went on the hunt to regain the match lead in the third set. The Red Wolves were commanded early and stayed on a relentless pursuit to cruise to a 25-13 set victory.

The Salukis, coming off a disappointing third set, recovered their composure in the fourth. SIU stayed competitive in another tight battle that featured two lead changes and 11 tie scores throughout the length of the set.

Mary Newman | @MaryNewmanDE
Senior outside hitter Nellie Fredriksson, 11, returns the ball Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, during the Salukis’ 3-1 loss to Arkansas State University at SIU Arena. (Mary Newman |
@MaryNewmanDE)

SIU Arena went silent in the fourth set as a scary moment occurred when two Red Wolves, junior Carlisa May and freshman Timber Terrell, collided and bumped heads while attempting a dig.

Arkansas State exited the injury timeout with a sense of urgency to put SIU away, and captured a 21-20 lead. The Red Wolves kept their steady pace with the help of a controversial call by an official.

The set point recorded from a  kill by senior middle blocker Anna Murphy secured the 25-22 set victory for ASU.

Senior middle hitter Kolby Meeks jumps for a return Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, during the Salukis’ 3-1 loss to Arkansas State University at SIU Arena. (Dylan Nelson | @DylanNelson99)

Outside hitter Carlisa May, the 2016 Sun Belt Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year, showed off her impressive scoring capabilities in the match.

May gathered 23 kills total with a 0.294 attack percentage.

Despite the loss, the Salukis received strong performances from some key players. Sophomore setter Alayna Martin compiled 27 assists to go along with 11 digs in the contest. Senior libero Ashley Edelen added 22 digs while freshman setter Rachel Maguire added another 14 assists.

Sophomore setter Alayna Martin, 18, passes the ball to senior middle hitter Kolby Meeks, 1, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, during the Salukis’ 3-1 loss to Arkansas State University at SIU Arena. (Dylan Nelson | @DylanNelson99)

“Losses are never fun,” said senior Kolby Meeks. “But this loss didn’t hurt as bad because I don’t feel like we regretted anything.”

Meeks helped lead the Saluki offensive game plan against the Red Hawks. The middle hitter racked up 14 kills while amassing a 0.565 attack percentage with one dig of her own.

“We’re continuing to move forward with a new team and a new coaching staff,” said Meeks. “It will click.”

SIU (0-4) looks to break into the win column when they are back in action at Murray State University on Sept. 5. First serve is set for 7 p.m. 

Sports reporter Nathan Dodd can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @NathanMDodd.

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

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