Laura Thole recorded 12 digs Saturday night to post a hitting clip of .321.
Sept. 22, 2012
By Robin Thuringer
WICHITA, Kan. -- Southern Illinois' offense could not keep pace Saturday night, as the Salukis struggled against a solid Wichita State team, losing in three sets 25-20, 25-15, and 25-22.
Effective passing and low errors allowed the Shockers (9-4, 3-1 MVC) to maintain control of the match through out the three sets. The Salukis (11-3, 2-2 MVC) had moments of control but inevitably could not break down the Wichita State offensive system.
"Wichita had a seamless offensive system that made it really difficult to defend," said SIU head coach Justin Ingram. "They passed incredibly well which allowed them to hit at a high efficiency."
Southern jumped out immediately in the first set leading WSU by five points. The Shockers closed the gap and the teams traded points up until SIU help the lead at 19-18. WSU took possession of the ball after an SIU error. Wichita State used that opportunity to begin what would be a set deciding 5-0 run. The Salukis could not rebound from the deficit, dropping the set 25-20.
The second set belonged to the Wichita State offense. A trio of Shocker attackers disassembled the Saluki defense creating a point spread that Southern could not close. WSU took the set 25-15.
"They kept killing the ball and it created a deficit that would couldn't recover from," said Ingram. "We needed to be sharper and be able to come back quicker."
Wichita State and Southern Illinois began the beginning of the third set in a neck-and-neck battle. The Shockers began to pull away but SIU remained on their heels. Laura Thole and Jessica Whitehead stepped-up with timely kills to bring the Salukis within two points of the lead. Wichita State was able to convert off the Salukis final serve to knock in a kill to with the third and final set 25-22.
"We need to work on keying in to what is happening offensively on the other side of the net," said Ingram. "I saw glimpses of great, competitive volleyball we just need to work on extending that into longer periods of time."
The Salukis will return home next weekend welcoming Creighton on Friday night, followed by a Saturday afternoon dual with the Bulldogs of Drake.