Daily Egyptian

SIU claims win over Bradley in first conference match of season

Freshman+setter+Rachel+Maguire%2C+13%2C+celebrates+with+her+teammates%2C+Tuesday%2C+Sept.+12%2C+2017%2C+during+the+Saluki%27s+home+game+at+SIU+Arena.+The+Salukis+beat+the+Redhawks+in+the+fifth+set%2C+15-13.+%28Mary+Newman+%7C+%40MaryNewmanDE%29
Freshman setter Rachel Maguire, 13, celebrates with her teammates, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, during the Saluki's home game at SIU Arena. The Salukis beat the Redhawks in the fifth set, 15-13. (Mary Newman | @MaryNewmanDE)

Freshman setter Rachel Maguire, 13, celebrates with her teammates, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, during the Saluki's home game at SIU Arena. The Salukis beat the Redhawks in the fifth set, 15-13. (Mary Newman | @MaryNewmanDE)

Mary Newman, Daily Egyptian

Mary Newman, Daily Egyptian

Freshman setter Rachel Maguire, 13, celebrates with her teammates, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, during the Saluki's home game at SIU Arena. The Salukis beat the Redhawks in the fifth set, 15-13. (Mary Newman | @MaryNewmanDE)

By Ryan Demer

SIU volleyball came out with a win against the Bradley Braves in the first Missouri Valley Conference showdown for both squads.

The Salukis used a well-balanced attack on offense and defense to defeat the Braves (27-29, 25-17, 25-16, 25-22) Friday at Renaissance Coliseum in Peoria.

The opening set saw a quick 4-0 run for Bradley to begin things. The Salukis responded quickly and found themselves tied with the Braves 14-14. After a few exchanges, SIU was down 22-20.

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The Salukis burst for a quick four-point run to take the lead back 24-22. Soon after, Bradley put themselves back ahead with a three-point scoring spurt of their own. After a kill by senior outside hitter Andrea Estrada saw the Salukis up 27-26, Bradley responded with another three-point run to take the first set 29-27.

In the second set, the Salukis built a commanding 8-4 lead off a four-point run after trading points with the Braves. Bradley responded and eventually tied the set 15-15.

From there, the Salukis took over on offense, recording three kills on their way to a five-point run. Bradley notched a point to bring the set within striking distance at 22-17, but Southern had other plans with a three-point run to close out the second set 25-17.

The third set saw Bradley jump out with two quick points. Soon after, the Salukis went on a quick three-point run to take the lead 6-4. Both teams then traded points until SIU went on a four-point run to build a strong lead 14-9.

Bradley was unable to do much to stop the high-powered Saluki offense, as three consecutive kills late in the third set powered Southern to a 25-16 win to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

The fourth set was back and forth, seeing the Salukis go on a three-point scoring run only to be followed by a three-point run by Bradley. Both teams continued to battle back and forth until the Braves rode another point run to a 17-14 lead.

SIU scored quickly after, and then after three consecutive kills, two from senior hitter Abby Barrow, Southern was sitting on a 20-19 lead. Bradley was able to tie things up at 21 apiece, but the Salukis scored four of the next five points to take the fourth set 25-22 and the match win 3-1.

Southern was stout on defense, recording 13 blocks in the matchup, finishing with a .207 hit percentage while Bradley registered a .117.

Senior middle hitter Kolby Meeks led the charge, recording seven blocks. She also totaled six kills. Estrada contributed to the defensive rally with four blocks of her own. She also tallied 11 kills and one ace throughout the contest, and matched her season-high 21 digs.

Three Salukis had double-digit kill numbers, including Estrada. Junior middle hitter Patience Brown recorded a team-high 14 kills, swinging with a .462 success rate. She also added two blocks to the defensive charge. Freshman opposite hitter Maggie Nedoma finished with 10 kills.

Senior libero Ashley Edelen recorded two aces in the match, which was her first time since October 2015 at Bradley University. She also tied a career-high and was the team leader with 24 digs.

Freshman setter Rachel Maguire was setting up the Salukis all night, tallying a team-high 25 assists. She also contributed with 15 digs and added a service ace. Sophomore setter Alayna Martin did much of the same, with 24 assists and 10 digs.

Barrow also notched 12 digs, as well as nine kills and an ace.

SIU (2-10, 1-0 MVC) continue conference play Saturday night against the Illinois State Redbirds in Bloomington-Normal. First serve is set for 7 p.m.

Sports writer Ryan Demer can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @RyanDemer_DE 

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

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