Regular season ends for Saluki Volleyball with loss to MSU

Southern Volleyball’s regular season officially came to a close tonight after their 3-1 loss to the Missouri State University Bears (10-22, MVC 7-11).

The Salukis faced the Bears prior to tonight in mid-October, beating them in a five-set battle. 

SIU entered the matchup tonight on a win against Evansville University, while MSU entered on a two-game losing streak.

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The first set started with close play between the two teams with each side of the net earning points and errors until the Bears hit a 5-1 scoring run to take the upper hand.

Missouri State appeared to be going on a second scoring run, but a kill from Saluki junior outside hitter Savannah Sheridan put an end to the building momentum. 

The junior tallied 12 kills on the night to lead the team in this category.

Despite their efforts, Southern could not string together enough consecutive points to take the lead back from MSU who continued to notch scoring runs throughout the set.

The Bears took the first set 25-23.

Missouri State took charge again in the second set going on a 5-2 scoring run to start it off.

A kill from senior setter Alayna Martin ended the run and this sparked momentum in the Southern offense allowing them to go on a 5-1 scoring run to take the lead at 8-6.

This scoring run featured two service aces from senior defensive specialist Laura Rojas and another kill from Martin.

Martin was on the leaderboard in both the kills and assists categories at the end of tonight’s game with 10 kills and 22 assists.

SIU kept its lead until the Bears were able to tie the game with a kill at 10-10.

The game continued to tie until Missouri State found its rhythm once again going on a 7-1 scoring run to regain the lead.

After this run, the Salukis were unable to recover from the deficit and they lost set two 25-20.

Play in the third set started very close and the teams were neck-and-neck with the score tying approximately seven different times.

A kill from SIU middle blocker Emma Baalman set the Salukis off onto a 7-2 scoring run that allowed them to take a solid lead in the set at 14-9.

Southern kept their momentum with help from junior setter/hitter Rachel Maguire who tallied six kills alone in this set.

Maguire ended the night with 11 kills and 20 assists.

The Salukis held onto the lead to clench the third set win at 25-18.

Set four was a hard fought battle for both teams, but SIU kicked off the scoring with the momentum they had left from the previous set.

Balmaan, Maguire, and Sheridan were the first to score for Southern earning three nearly consecutive kills.

Despite SIU’s fast start, play remained close and the score tied several times before the Salukis could find any breathing room.

After Southern had taken a four point lead, the Bears went on a scoring run to tie the game up at 15-15.

After this tie, the set was a race to 25 and neither team let the other ahead by more than two points at a time.

After another tie at 20-20, the Bears began to distance themselves from SIU taking a small lead, but never giving it up.

Southern was unable to regain the lead and two consecutive MSU kills gave the set to the Bears.

This set solidified Missouri States 3-1 victory over the Salukis (14-18, MVC 6-12).

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

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