Sophomore Taylor Pippen
Oct. 11, 2013
CARBONDALE, Ill.--The Southern Illinois University volleyball owned its home court Friday night, sweeping Drake 25-16, 25-21, 25-16 to record its fourth Missouri Valley Conference win.
The Salukis (9-10, 4-3 MVC) out hit the Bulldogs (2-16, 0-6 MVC) .224 to .108 and knocked in 43 total kills to Drake's 25.
Southern got off to a slow start in the first set posting its lowest hitting percentage of the night. Drake jumped out to a 5-1 lead before the Salukis responded, evening up the score at 7 apiece. The Salukis were able to end Drake's early momentum compiling five, 3-0 runs to create a comfortable point spread. SIU took the set 25-16.
"We knew Drake was going to go for the gusto right from the beginning on their serve," said SIU head coach Justin Ingram. "We had to stay consistent and stay settled and I think the girls did a good job of that tonight."
The second set of the night saw the closest score between the two Valley teams. Drake had a fast start again in the opening of the set taking a 4-1 lead. Taylor Pippen knocked in a kill that was complimented by three-straight Bulldogs errors to put SIU back out front. The Salukis rolled with the momentum and took a 10-8 lead before Drake challenged the Dawgs, coming within one point at the 17-16 mark. The Saluki hitters found their rhythm punching in five consecutive kills followed by a Drake attack error. SIU took a 23-17 lead and held off DU to win set two.
"We laid into a few balls in the middle of the set and they ended up digging them," Ingram said. "We called a timeout, regrouped and then were able to get in some big swings."
The Salukis controlled the entire third set not allowing the Bulldogs to take a lead. Southern saw their best set offensively in the third, recording a .289 hitting percentage and committing only three attack errors. The consistency remained through the duration of the set and Southern Illinois took the set convincingly, 25-16.
SIU saw efficiency across the court as three players hit above .300 and four players contributed double-digit kills. Senior Jessica Whitehead tallied 13 kills while Taylor Pippen added nine kills on 16 swings to post an impressive .375 hitting percentage. Setter Hannah Kaminsky worked the net tipping in six kills on nine attempts for a clip of .556.
"Some steady things happened throughout the course of the match," said Ingam. "We switched some defensive rolls and had quite a few more digs out of more people, they really kept us in each play all match."
Southern Illinois will return to Davies Gym Saturday night at 7 p.m. to host the Panthers of Northern Iowa.