Volleyball drops two matches in final day of IPFW Invitational

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    Aug 31, 2013

    Box Score


    FORT WAYNE, Ind.-- The Southern Illinois University volleyball team dropped two matches Saturday in the final day of play at the IPFW Hyatt Place Invitational. The Salukis were swept by IPFW and Duquesne to finish opening weekend with a 1-2 record.

    SIU 0, IPFW 3   Box Score

    Southern Illinois failed to have the final say in its loss to 2012 NCAA tournament team IPFW Saturday afternoon giving up straight sets to the Mastodons 16-25, 23-25, 23-25.

    The Salukis played IPFW close in nearly every category on paper, but struggled to close out each set.

    “We knew IPFW was going to be a challenging match, they are a proven tournament team who returned a lot of great players,” said SIU head coach Justin Ingram.

    The first set of the match saw the largest point spread between the two teams. Southern committed untimely errors to give IPFW a comfortable lead for the go ahead set win.

    The match was hotly contested in the final two sets of play with late set ties. Midway through the third set, it looked as though Southern might be able to force a fourth with the score tied at 22. A trio of kills from the Mastodons’ balanced front line locked up the set and the match.

    “IPFW pushed the envelope to get the momentum shifting in their direction and figured out how to score on us,” Ingram said.

    Sophomore Taylor Pippen led the offense with 12 kills on 21 attempts for a .524 hitting percentage. Elly Braaten chipped in 11 kills. Freshman Hannah Kaminsky recorded 38 assists.



    SIU 0, Duquesne 3  Box Score

    The Saluki offense struggled in the nightcap against Duquesne, losing in three sets 23-25, 22-25, 13-25.

    Southern Illinois (1-2) and Duquesne (1-2) battled back-and-forth in the first two sets but the Salukis were unable to come out victorious. The Dukes commanded the lead with their last two possessions in each set capitalizing on the opportunity to put away SIU.

    The third set belonged to the Dukes. Multiple errors created a point spread that Southern could not close. DU took the set 25-13.

    “Right now we are battling inconsistencies with having new players and really need to improve on our set and passing,” said Ingram.

    Freshman Hannah Kaminsky was named to the All-Tournament team compiling 108 assists to average 9.82 per set.

    The returning Saluki starters led the offensive charge over the weekend. Senior Jessica Whitehead tallied 39 kills to average 3.55 per set while Taylor Pippen added 32 kills.

    Senior Elly Braaten showed vast improvement aiding the offensive effort with 33 kills to average 3.00 per set. Braaten also recorded three blocks and 12 digs.

    “Elly Braaten has really turned a corner and has become more aggressive not only in her mechanics and attacks but in her confidence and decision-making,” Ingram said. “She has really impressed the staff and her team and we are excited for where she’s at.”

    Southern Illinois has a quick turnaround hosting Middle Tennessee on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the season home opener.

    “We have our work cut out for us with MTSU,” said Ingram. “We would really like the fans to come out and support us and help us energize Davies Gym.”