Salukis pick up first victory over Middle Tennessee State, 3-1

    Redshirt freshman Andrea Estrada leads SIU with 40 kills in four matches in 2014.

    Redshirt freshman Andrea Estrada leads SIU with 40 kills in four matches in 2014.
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    Sept. 2, 2014

    Box Score

    By Tyler Wooten

    MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Saluki volleyball got its first victory of the 2014 season after defeating Middle Tennessee State, 3-1, at Alumni Memorial Gym on Tuesday night.

    The Salukis (1-3) fell down a set to the Blue Raiders (1-3) to start the match, who took set one at a 25-17 advantage. Keen on not repeating last year's five-set shootout with MTSU at home, Southern's offense picked up the pace in the final three frames to seal victory. SIU hit .241 or higher in each of the final three sets, including a .419 clip in the fourth.

    The second set ended up being a turning point in the match for Southern. With the Blue Raiders ready to go up 2-0 on set point at 24-21, the Salukis rode a 5-0 run to a 26-24 set victory on the skillful serving of sophomore Hannah Kaminsky (two aces) and three blocks-assists courtesy of Meg Viggars, McKenzie Dorris and Andrea Estrada.

    "We are proud of the team coming back from being down," said SIU head coach Justin Ingram. "Hannah's serving at the end of the second set gave us momentum for the rest of the match."

    Offensively, Southern was led by the redshirt freshman Estrada and her career-high 16 kills on 33 attacks (.333). In just four matches of collegiate play, the Colombian native leads SIU with 40 kills (2.86 per set).

    Estrada had help, though, as SIU's victory tonight was a true team effort. Junior Taylor Pippen hit eight kills of her own, as did freshman Abby Barrow and Dorris. Viggars and freshman Nellie Fredriksson played their part as well with seven kills. As a team, SIU hit .286 on the night.



    Kaminsky and Viggars also had stellar nights setting up Southern's hitters, combining for 44 assists. In addition to her ace in SIU's crucial run at the end of the second set, Kaminsky had 25 assists, eight digs and a kill of her own. Viggars was a key figure offensively and defensively, as in addition to her seven kills and 19 assists, she was party to six of SIU's 24 block-assists. Dorris, a sophomore from Metropolis, Ill., led SIU with eight assisted blocks -- a career-high.

    Next up for SIU is a weekend stay in Columbus, Ohio, for the Sports Imports/D.C. Koehl Classic at Ohio State. On Friday (Sept. 5), the Salukis will go head-to-head with Auburn and Florida Gulf Coast at 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., respectively. On Sunday (Sept. 7), Southern will play Ohio State at 1 p.m. to close the tournament.

    "We have a short turnaround before our next matches and we need to prepare for this weekend's opponents, beginning tomorrow," Ingram said.