The Salukis recorded their eighth conference win Friday night at Drake University.
Oct. 26, 2012
By Robin Thuringer
DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Southern Illinois volleyball team topped Drake Friday night in four sets to clinch their eighth Missouri Valley Conference win this season and their 18th win overall.
The Salukis (18-5, 8-4 MVC) defense was the story of the night as they held the Bulldogs (3-19, 2-9 MVC) to a hitting efficiency of just .117. As a team, Southern totaled 11 total blocks and 20 stuff blocks, and a four-set high 80 digs to edge out DU.
Drake could not handle the Salukis pace in the first set, only remaining in contention with their first five possesions. SIU went on seven multiple-point runs to easily take set one 25-16.
The second set was a wild back-and-forth contest between the conference opponents. The set saw 10 lead changes and the score tie 18 times. Drake held set point two times but a kill by Jessica Whitehead and an attack error placed the set point in the Salukis hands. Laura Thole delivered with a timely kill to end the set with a 27-25 win for Southern.
The Bulldogs continued to be relentless in the third set stringing together multiple point runs to test the Salukis yet again. The teams battled until a tie at 22-22 when Drake pulled ahead courtesy of two SIU attack errors. Drake's Katie Dulek scored the final point for DU's only set win.
The Salukis returned in the fourth set looking to close the match with a win. Southern did just that jumping out ahead of Drake early to steadily hold them back to win the set and match 25-19.
Senior Laura Thole knocked in 16 kills and 14 digs to record a double-double while sophomore setter Amy Drabant also recorded a double-double tallying 45 assists and 18 digs. Bailey Yeager led the team with 33 digs and Jessica Whitehead led the team offensively with 20 kills.