Daily Egyptian

Saluki volleyball swept by Ramblers

By Dillon Gilliland

The SIU volleyball team suffered another loss to the Loyola Ramblers (5-23, 4-13 MVC) on Friday in three sets.

SIU suffered a four-set loss to the Ramblers earlier in the season at Davies Gym.

Southern entered the match in search of a must-needed win that could earn the Salukis the final spot in the Missouri Valley Conference Volleyball Championship next week.

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Both teams traded points in the first set until they settled at a 15-15 tie. The Ramblers gained some breathing room and put up back to back points via a kill and an attacking error.

Loyola made a statement at the end of the set with seven straight points that took the set 25-17.

The Ramblers carried their momentum into the second set as they jumped to a quick 9-6 lead with four consecutive kills.

Loyola extended its lead as the Ramblers rallied another four straight points. The three kills and an attacking error made the score 14-8.

Southern never fought its way back into the set. The Ramblers closed out the second set with a kill and a service ace to end 25-20 moved one set closer to a sweep.

The Salukis looked to shift the momentum in their favor in the third set as they jumped to an immediate 4-1 lead sparked by a kill from senior outside hitter Nellie Fredriksson.

Loyola answered back with a three-point run from two kills and an attacking error that tied the set at four points each.

The Ramblers continued their charge with another five-point run from two service aces, two kills and an attacking error to that gave them a 9-5 lead. They followed up with another three-point run and stretched the lead to 12-7.

The Salukis refused to let the set get too far away from them as they used a three-point run of their own. A kill from senior middle hitter Kolby Meeks sparked the run and made the score 13-11.

Loyola immediately pieced together a three-point rally that made the score 17-12 and opened the lead back up.

Southern appeared to find its stride again as they put up six consecutive points with three blocks from sophomore opposite hitter Emma Baalman.

The Salukis’ 18-17 lead did not hold for long as the Ramblers put up three straight points and reclaimed a 20-18 advantage.

The Salukis never battled their way back into the set and lost the set 25-23, their second loss of the season to Loyola.

Meeks and senior outside hitters Andrea Estrada and Abby Barrow tied for the team lead with eight kills each.

Senior libero Ashley Edelen led the team with 10 digs on the evening.

Freshman setter Rachel Maguire led the team with 15 assists.

Baalman led both teams with three blocks in the match.

SIU (6-22, 5-12 MVC) will travel to Valparaiso, Indiana on Saturday to take on Valparaiso for its final regular season game. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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

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