Sept. 11, 2009
By Shalae Patrick
CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois (8-0) volleyball team opened the 2009 season at home with a 3-1 (26-24, 23-25, 29-27, 25-18) victory over UAB (4-4) on the opening night of the Saluki Invitational presented by the Hampton Inn Friday in Davies Gym.
The Salukis came from behind in two sets, including a 9-0 start from the Blazers in set three, to take down the 2008 second-round NCAA tournament team.
"Alicia Johnson was the story tonight," Winkeler said. "She did just about everything for us."
Johnson recorded a career-best 24 kills in the victory, hitting a team-high .457 with just three errors in 46 attempts. The junior right side also added eight digs, six block assists and three service aces.
Jennifer Berwanger recorded her fifth-straight double-double, recording 13 kills and 19 digs.
"It's good to be a Saluki right now," Saluki head coach Brenda Winkeler said. "But tonight's win is only as good as tomorrow. We have to get back up and get two wins. We have two tough matches again."
The Salukis' 8-0 start is the best of any team in program history.
Saturday, the team wraps up tournament play, facing Murray State at 12 p.m. and Valparaiso at 7 p.m.