Volleyball tops Loyola in four sets

    Senior Jessica Whitehead tallied 14 kills to post an impressive hitting percentage of .353 to lead the Saluki offense.

    Senior Jessica Whitehead tallied 14 kills to post an impressive hitting percentage of .353 to lead the Saluki offense.
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    Sept. 28, 2013

    Box Score


    CARBONDALE, Ill.--The Southern Illinois volleyball team defeated Loyola 3-1 in the teams first Missouri Valley Conference meeting on Saturday at Davies Gym.

    "We wanted to be able to play confident and steady and I think throughout the set we saw glimpses of a little bit lower efficiency but we were able to recover," said SIU head coach Justin Ingram.

    The Salukis (7-9, 2-2 MVC) opened the match showing confidence and control jumping out on a 7-0 run to lead the Ramblers 12-7. Loyola (7-8, 2-2 MVC) trailed the remainder of the set as Southern was able to put together two more multiple point runs to take the first set 25-17.

    Loyola challenged the Salukis in the opening of the second set with the score remaining steady until Southern pulled out a 4-0 run to lead LU 9-7. The Ramblers stopped the momentum with a kill from Morgan Reardon but the Salukis responded with another unanswered, four-point run to take a six-point lead. Loyola couldn't close the gap, trailing the Salukis the remainder of the set. SIU took set two 25-19 to lead the match two sets to none.

    The third set of the match was the Salukis only misstep of the night as Loyola challenged the offense, holding SIU to just a .103 hitting percentage. Reminiscent of Friday night, Southern gave the visiting team an advantage with unforced errors. Loyola closed out the third set on a 5-0 run with three of those points from SIU attack errors.

    Southern Illinois bounced back in the fourth and final set of the match. The teams held a tie at 11 until freshman Katie Baki showed poise at the line serving seven consecutive points for the Dawgs, giving SIU a 19-11 lead. The Salukis held the lead for the remainder of the set topping Loyola 25-16.

    "All our freshman go through growth spurts and try to figure out what a good serve is," Ingram said. "She was tremendous today, we lived off that serving and gained a good point spread."



    Seniors Jessica Whitehead and Elly Braaten led the Salukis with 14 kills each. Whitehead posted an impressive hitting percentage of .353 to lead the team. Hannah Kaminsky tallied 42 assists while Meg Viggars recorded 20 digs.

    Southern Illinois continues MVC play next weekend when they travel to Wichita State on Friday, Oct. 4 and Missouri State on Saturday, Oct. 5.