Sept. 27, 2013
CARBONDALE, Ill.—The Southern Illinois volleyball team let a two set lead slip away falling to Bradley in five sets (28-26, 25-10, 21-25, 18-25, 14-16) Friday night at Davies Gym.
The Salukis (6-9, 1-2 MVC) and Braves (8-3, 2-0 MVC) battled in the first set swapping points until a tie as late as 26. Southern showed its grit as Jessica Whitehead knocked in a timely kill to give SIU a 27-26 advantage. Freshman Katie Baki sealed the first set victory with a service ace.
Southern Illinois owned the second set of match recording a match-high hitting percentage of .320. The Salukis were able to hold Bradley to a negative hitting percentage (-.071), hardly letting the Braves touch the ball. SIU convincingly took the second set, 25-10.
The tone of the match changed dramatically after the match-break as the Braves returned and began to disassemble the Salukis.
Faulty receiving and passing created challenges for the Saluki attackers in the final three sets of the match.
“We need to be a lot better in the back row,” said SIU head coach Justin Ingram. “Our consistency tonight was as poor as it has been all season.”
The Salukis found themselves within striking distance of Bradley in the third and fifth sets but gave away the final points. Bradley closed out the third set on a 7-0 run with three of those points courtesy of SIU errors.
Southern Illinois took the fifth set to match-point at 14-13 but a kill by Bradley’s Kristin Chynoweth knotted the score at 14. The Salukis ended the match on a sour note committing two more errors to hand Bradley the set and match victory.
The Salukis will look to turn things around tomorrow afternoon when they host Loyola at 3 p.m.