Salukis beat Evansville 3-1

    Senior Alysia Mayes recorded 16 kills and 11 total blocks to help SIU to a four-set victory Friday night.

    Senior Alysia Mayes recorded 16 kills and 11 total blocks to help SIU to a four-set victory Friday night.
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    Nov. 2, 2012

    Box Score

    By Robin Thuringer

    EVANSVILLE, Ind.-- The Southern Illinois volleyball team picked up a four-set win Friday night topping Evansville 23-25, 25-22, 26-24, and 25-12.

    The Salukis improve to 19-6, 9-5 MVC. Southern is now one win away from their first 20-win season since 2002. The 2002 squad finished with a record of 23-10 overall and 12-6 in the Missouri Valley Conference.

    Alysia Mayes continued to shine captaining the Salukis on both sides of the ball. The senior knocked in 16 kills for a hitting efficiency of .500. At the net Mayes recorded an impressive 11 blocks (seven assists, four solo). As a team Southern finished with 19 total blocks.

    Reigning MVC Freshman of the Week Taylor Pippen had a productive night recording a career-high13 kills and seven block assists. Jessica Whitehead also aided the Saluki attack chipping in 16 kills.

    "The attackers were really efficient tonight and went above and beyond their standard," said SIU head coach Justin Ingram. "We felt good with the aggressive swings that were going on and they worked to progress that as the match went on."

    Senior Laura Thole also posted impressive numbers recording her seventh double-double of the season tallying 10 kills and 10 digs.

    The first set of the night belonged to Evansville (8-19, 3-11 MVC) as the Purple Aces never allowed Southern to hold a lead. The Salukis outhit UE .244 to .188 but could not seem to gain momentum in the beginning of the set. SIU caught the heels of Evansville late taking the game to a tie at 23 points apiece but two final attack errors granted the host team the first set victory.



    "Evansville came out of the gate right away and we spent the whole match trying to build from a deficient," said Ingram. `We had a shot late in the set but it just didn't work out in our favor."

    Southern rebounded taking the next three sets. The Salukis easily put-away the second set 25-22 but battled once again in the third set forcing the game to tie eight times. Alysia Mayes stepped up punching in two final kills to help SIU to a 26-24 third set win.

    "After the first set we knew we needed to make the most of small ball opportunities so we had to control the ball with efficient passing to be able to set up our middles, and that really started working for us."

    Southern Illinois easily claimed the fourth and final set of the night 25-12. Sophomore Amy Drabant was stellar at the line serving for nine consecutive points to push the Salukis ahead to a set and match win.

    "Amy Drabant's serving was great," said Ingram. "It gave us a comfortable lead and it ended the night well for us."

    Southern Illinois returns to Davies Gym next Friday and Saturday hosting Northern Iowa and Bradley for their final two home matches of the season.