Southern Splits Weekend at Home With Loss To UNI

By Tamar Mosby, Sports Reporter

Tonight Saluki Volleyball took on the University of Northern Iowa Panthers in their second conference home game of the season.

Southern fell 3-0 in this matchup with the Panthers.

This game was the 71st meeting of the two teams in a series that dates back to 1982. Entering the night, UNI held a 57-13 lead over SIU in the all-time series and another win was added to the Panther record after tonight.

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Prior to this evening’s matchup, SIU defeated Drake University in their showdown last night, leaving the game with a 3-1 victory. The Panthers entered the night on a four-game conference winning streak with their last victory coming from their 3-0 defeat of Missouri State.

The Salukis earned the first three points of the first set on two errors from the Panthers and a kill from junior middle hitter Emma Baalman.

Two consecutive kills from the Panthers brought the score to 3-2, but Southern created a small amount of distance by earning the next two points on a UNI attack error and a kill from junior outside hitter Savannah Sheridan.

The set remained close with SIU managing to keep a small lead and stay ahead, but a 6-1 UNI scoring run allowed the Panthers to take the lead from the Salukis at 11-8.

Northern Iowa went on another scoring run of 5-1 shortly after their first run and this put Southern down 16-10.

The teams traded kills and errors, but the Panthers kept their lead over SIU and won the set 25-16. 

In this set, the Panthers earned nine more kills than the Salukis notching 19 total.

The second set got off to a close start for both teams, with Northern Iowa leading until a kill from SIU junior middle hitter Lindsey Paulsen tied the score at 4-4 early on.

After the tie, UNI scored three consecutive points on Southern to take the lead at 7-3.

Errors hurt the Salukis at the beginning of the match as they had five total before either team reached ten points. 

A kill from Baalman put SIU within one point of the Panthers with the score at 10-9, but the Salukis were unable to string together enough points to take the lead away from UNI. 

Despite this, Northern Iowa was not able to gain more than a three-point advantage over Southern.

UNI was able to find a rhythm and took off on an 8-2 run that brought them to game point. 

The Salukis were able to score two more points, but a kill from the Panthers immediately after ended the set with a score of 25-19.

This win gave Northern Iowa a 2-0 advantage in the game’s set score and they needed just one more set to take home the win.

UNI came out with momentum in the third set scoring four unanswered points to start the set and force an early Southern timeout to be called.

A service ace from SIU freshman defensive specialist Abi Fitzpatrick and Panther attack error gave SIU a quickly earned two points and brought the score to 4-2.

Things cooled down for the Salukis when Northern Iowa went on a 6-2 scoring run immediately after the attack error. This run put the Panthers up 10-4.

A kill from Sheridan gave Southern possession of the ball, but this was short lived as a service error gave UNI the serve.

The Panthers took off on a 6-1 run after regaining possession of the ball and put them ahead 18-6, just seven points away from winning the entire game.

The Salukis then heated up and went on 7-2 scoring run that featured one kill each for Sheridian and junior and senior setter/hitters Rachel Maguire and Alayna Martin. It also featured two kills from sophomore outside hitter Hannah Becker.

Becker and Maguire led the team in kills tonight with six each.

Southern continued to trail UNI with the run only bringing the score to 20-13.

Two kills from UNI pushed the score to 22-13, but SIU continued to fight and earned two more points to put the score at 22-15.

Three back-to-back points for UNI allowed them to clench the set win at 25-15 and the game win 3-0.

You can catch the Salukis on the road for their next game as they take on the Loyola University Chicago Ramblers. Game time is set for Friday at 6 p.m.

Sports reporter Tamar Mosby can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @mosbytamar.

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