Saluki volleyball drops in five sets to Valpo

By Brooke Buerck, Sports Reporter

The Salukis had their second chance against the Valparaiso University Crusaders on Friday night, but couldn’t find a win in the fifth set to secure another Missouri Valley Conference win. 

Southern found their momentum in sets two and three of the match, but Valpo dominated in the others to take the win (21-25, 25-23, 25-17, 11-15).

The last time the Salukis saw the Crusaders was on Oct. 12, when Southern lost in three sets in a matchup on Valpo’s home court. 

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Tonight’s win was Valparaiso’s third win in a row, pushing their record to 11-16, while 6-7 in Missouri Valley play.

The Salukis (13-15) move forward with a 5-9 MVC record.

Junior setter Rachel Maguire finished with two career achievements, including a career-high 18 kills and her 11th season triple double. Maguire had 10 digs and 22 assists.

Junior outside hitter Savannah Sheridan added in 16 kills of her own, hitting at a .359 percent.

Senior setter Alayna Martin recorded a triple-double on assists (48) and digs (23), falling short of a triple-double by just two kills.

For the Crusaders, junior middle blocker Payton McCarthy put down 25 kills to lead the team to go along with two block assists. 

The Salukis led 11-6 in the first set, but Valpo was able to rally to tie the game 16-all. 

Southern was tied with the Crusaders again at 20-20, but Valpo pulled away with a 5-1 run to take set one. 

Set two was evenly fought between the two teams, as neither squad held more than a three point lead. 

SIU was able to pull away from a 23-all tie to take the win. 

The Salukis then carried that momentum over into the third set, starting out with a five-point and extending their lead 20-10 later into the set to help secure the win. 

Southern found themselves in a 18-7 hole in the fourth set, and wouldn’t be able to overcome the deficit as the Crusaders took set four. 

Valpo held the advantage heading into the fifth set, and took an early 8-6 lead. 

SIU looked for a chance to get back in the match with a four-point scoring run that gave them the 10-8 lead, but the Crusaders recovered quickly to finish the set.

Tomorrow night, the Salukis take their home court for the last time this season as they celebrate their senior night in a matchup against the Loyola University Chicago Ramblers (18-8, 11-2 MVC). 

First serve is set for 5 p.m. at Davies Gym. 

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

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