SIU takes down Drake for second time this season

By Brooke Buerck, Sports Reporter

It’s hard to beat the same team twice, but the Salukis did just that on Saturday night. 

In four sets, Southern Illinois took down the Drake University Bulldogs at Des Moines, Iowa (25-19, 19-25, 26-24, 25-19).

The Salukis (13-14, 5-8 MVC) took down the Bulldogs 3-1 earlier this season on Oct. 4 at home. 

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Drake (9-17, 3-10 MVC) fell to the Missouri State University Bears last night 3-1, making tonight’s loss their second in a row. 

SIU finished with three hitters recording double-digit kills. 

Senior defense specialist Laura Rojas finished with a career high of 32 kills for the night.

Junior setter Rachel Maguire finished with 10 kills to go along with 27 assists and 12 digs, finishing with another triple-double for her season.

Junior opposite hitter Hannah Becker finished with 18 kills to lead Southern’s offense. 

Senior setter Alayna Martin found 10 kills of her own for the night, in addition to her 29 assists. 

Senior middle blocker Emma Baalman fell just two short of matching her career best in kills, putting down nine balls total on 19 attempts to finish with a team-best .368 hitting percentage. 

Junior opposite hitter Emily Plock finished the match with a total of 27 kills for Drake, falling just one short of her season-best. Plock was the only hitter with double-digit kills for the Bulldogs. 

The Salukis outlasted the Bulldogs in all but the second set.

Drake took an 11-8 lead over the Salukis to start off the first set.

A six-point scoring run, however, changed the tide for SIU, and the Bulldogs weren’t able to recover from the deficit. 

Set two was an even battle between Southern Illinois and Drake, but a seven-point scoring run gave the Bulldogs a large 22-16 lead. 

Drake improved from 9 kills in the first set to 14 in the second.

The Salukis still had more kills than the Bulldogs in the second set with 15.

Southern Illinois maintained a tight lead over Drake for the first half of set three. 

The Bulldogs fought to tie up the game at 18-18, and took the lead all the way to 24-23.

Drake looked as though they were going to take the game as they held the lead over SIU at set point, but the Salukis wouldn’t back down.

Kills from junior outside hitter Savannah Sheridan and junior middle blocker Lindsey Paulsen, as well as a block from Paulsen and Maguire, would seal their game for Southern.

SIU jumped out to a 15-6 lead in the fourth set.

The Bulldogs didn’t wait long to get back in the game, as a scoring run in their favor brought them to within just one point of the Salukis at 16-15.

The Salukis return to Carbondale for their next set of matches. On Friday, Nov. 8, Southern will take on the Valparaiso University Crusaders (10-16, 5-7 MVC), with first serve set for 6 p.m.

Sports reporter Brooke Buerck can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @bbuerck25.

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