Salukis suffers sweep at Valparaiso to end season

By Dillon Gilliland

The Saluki volleyball team fell victim of a sweep to the Valparaiso Crusaders in Saturday evening’s matchup — the 14th time Southern has been swept this season.

With Southern’s tournament chances out of reach, the Salukis looked to just end the season on a positive note with one final victory.

SIU took on the Crusaders earlier in the season at home and emerged victorious in four sets



The first set proved to be a nail-biter of a match as both teams traded points and settled on an 8-8 tie.

Valpo used a four-point run with a service ace and three errors from Southern that gave the Crusaders a 12-8 lead.

The Crusaders continued their charge as they put together a three-point run with two errors and another service ace that extended their lead to 17-12.

The Salukis never gained their footing and went on to lose the final set 25-22 which gave Valpo the first set.

SIU looked to turn the match around in the second set as they jumped to an early 5-2 lead sparked by a kill from senior outside hitter Andrea Estrada.

Valpo re-established its dominance early in the second, as they used another three-point run that led to a 7-6 advantage.

Both teams traded points back and forth until the Crusaders rallied for four consecutive points that gave them an 18-16 lead.

The Salukis responded with a three-point run of their own triggered by a kill from freshman opposite hitter Maggie Nedoma. Southern regained its lead at 19-18.

Valpo returned to its dominant state with a four-point run that led to a 25-20 set win over the Salukis.

The Crusaders looked to make the third set their last as they took ten of the first 15 points.

Valpo steamrolled the Salukis as they put up five consecutive points with three kills and two attacking errors that extended its lead to 18-8.

SIU never mustered up a comeback as they lost the final set 25-12.

Estrada led the team with 12 kills on the night.

Freshman setter Rachel Maguire and sophomore outside hitter Alysa Sutton co-led the team 11 digs each.

Sophomore setter Alayna Martin led the team with 16 assists while Maguire added 14 of her own.

The Salukis finished the season with an overall record of 6-23 and held a 5-13 record in MVC play.

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

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