Salukis fall to Northern Iowa on the road

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    Oct. 13, 2012

    Box Score

    By Robin Thuringer

    CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Southern Illinois' offense could not get over the hump Saturday, as the Salukis struggled against MVC powerhouse Northern Iowa, losing in three sets 25-15, 25-20, 25-21.

    Laura Thole and Jessica Whitehead recorded 11 kills apiece to lead the Saluki attack. Senior Alysia Mayes chipped in eight kills for a team-high hitting efficiency of .333.

    Northern Iowa (17-6, 8-1 MVC) was on their game in front of a home crowd of 2,800, only allowing Southern Illinois (16-4, 6-3 MVC) to take a lead once in three sets of play.

    UNI wasted no time making work of the Salukis in the first set. The first few points went back-and-forth between the conference opponents but the Panthers scored six consecutive points to lead Southern 12-6. SIU could not gain ground, struggling to string together enough points to catch up. Northern Iowa took the first set 25-15.

    SIU struggled mightily in the beginning of the second set, quickly finding itself down 20-7. The Salukis weathered the storm battling back going on two, five-point runs to only trail Northern Iowa by four points. Emily Less fueled the Saluki offense with on-point serving but UNI held onto to the lead claiming the final point.

    The third set saw the most contention of the night as Southern was able to tie the red-hot Panthers three times. The Saluki offense became active knocking in 18 kills and hitting at a match-high .261. SIU caught the heels of UNI to hold a tie at 21-21. Attack errors deterred Southern's resurgence allowing Northern Iowa the final four points of the set and match.

    The Salukis will return home to Davies Gym next weekend, hosting Wichita State on Friday at 7 p.m. and Missouri State at 7 p.m. on Saturday.



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