Daily Egyptian

SIU volleyball swept by ISU Redbirds

Daily Egyptian file photo.

Daily Egyptian file photo.

By Jacob Selsor

SIU volleyball lost to the Illinois State University Redbirds in three sets Saturday in Bloomington-Normal in its second conference matchup of the year.

Southern entered the conference match against Illinois State on a high note, coming off a win against conference foe Bradley University Friday night. ISU (8-7, 1-1 MVC) dropped their first conference matchup against Missouri State earlier in the week.

This was the 85th matchup between the Salukis and the Redbirds, with the Redbirds holding a strong bias in the series with 71 wins. SIU swept last season’s series against ISU, winning all three matchups.

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The opening set was highly contested at the beginning, with the Redbirds and Salukis trading points for much of the first half. The Salukis found themselves down 10-7 early on, but a four-point run put them up 11-10 and forced a Redbird timeout.

SIU would control much of the set from that point, but it was ISU who would prevail, going on a 12-5 run late to win the first set 25-22.

Illinois State came out strong in the second set, with a four-point run to start. Southern hung around, though, knotting the set at 14 points apiece with a service ace by senior libero Ashley Edelen.

The Salukis would never take the lead in the set, however, falling 25-19 to give the Redbirds a 2-0 match lead.

The Salukis came out very strong in the third set, ripping off four quick points to take the lead. This early attack did not phase the Redbirds, however, as they went on an 8-to-1 run to take a 9-6 lead, forcing SIU to take a timeout and try to regroup.

The timeout did little to ice the Redbirds, as they never allowed the Salukis to get closer than three points, taking the third set 25-18 to complete the 3-0 match sweep.

Three Salukis posted at least five kills in the match, with senior middle hitter Kolby Meeks and junior middle blocker Patience Brown claiming six while redshirt senior outside hitter Andrea Estrada ended the day with five.

Edelen led the team in digs with 16 through the match Saturday night.

SIU (2-11, 1-1 MVC) plays its next match at 7 p.m. on Monday at home against MVC newcomer Valparaiso University.

Sports reporter Jacob Selsor can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @jacobselsor_DE.

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