Volleyball splits final matches at Marshall Invitational

    Senior Jessica Whitehead finished the tournament with 37 kills.

    Senior Jessica Whitehead finished the tournament with 37 kills.
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    Sept. 14, 2013

    Box Score

    SIUSalukis.com

    CARBONDALE, Ill.-- The Southern Illinois volleyball team split its final two matches at the Marshall Invitational Saturday in Huntington, W. Va., to finish the tournament 1-2.

    The Salukis (4-7) fell in straight sets to Kent State (3-5) Saturday morning before picking up a four-set win against Eastern Kentucky (4-5) in the afternoon match.

    Southern Illinois 0, Kent State 3  Box Score

    Despite improved offense from Friday night the Salukis continued to struggle in their first match of the day, falling in straight sets to Kent State, 22-25, 20-25 and 23-25.

    Jessica Whitehead knocked in 18 kills for SIU with an impressive hitting clip of .333 but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Golden Eagles.

    All three sets were closely contested but Kent State was able to sustain late set leads to come away victorious.

    Southern Illinois 3, Eastern Kentucky 1 Box Score

    The Salukis shook off their loss earlier in the day to top Eastern Kentucky 24-26, 25-18, 25-14, 25-23.

    Southern Illinois responded to the Colonel’s first set win taking sets two and three with ease. The Salukis accumulated points in bunches to create a comfortable gap for the go-ahead set wins.

    SIU jumped out to a 17-9 lead in the fourth set but EKU threatened going on three multiple point runs to take the set to a tie at 23 to try and force a fifth set. A kill by Emily Less and two Colonel attack errors allowed Southern to take the fourth set, 25-23 to record their lone win of the weekend.


     

     

    The Salukis’ defense was active at the net recording a season-high 25 block assists for a total of 14.5 team blocks. Sophomore Taylor Pippen recorded a team-high nine block assists.

    Seniors Jessica Whitehead and Emily Less led the offensive effort. Whitehead tallied 12 kills while Less added eight with a career-high hitting efficiency of .353.

    Southern Illinois finished each of its non-conference tournaments this season with a 1-2 record.

    The Salukis will return home on Tuesday night for Pack the House night against Murray State. The match is slated to begin at 7 p.m.

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