Senior Jessica Whitehead tallied 14 kills to post an impressive hitting percentage of .353 to lead the Saluki offense.
Sept. 28, 2013
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."
Southern Illinois continues MVC play next weekend when they travel to Wichita State on Friday, Oct. 4 and Missouri State on Saturday, Oct. 5.