Salukis stun Northern Iowa, top Panthers in four sets

    Meg Viggars recorded a double-double with 12 kills and 22 digs during SIU's 3-1 victory at Northern Iowa.

    Meg Viggars recorded a double-double with 12 kills and 22 digs during SIU's 3-1 victory at Northern Iowa.
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    Nov. 8, 2013

    Box Score

    CEDAR FALLS, Iowa—The Southern Illinois University volleyball team recorded yet another historic victory Friday night defeating Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls for the first time since 1985. Southern topped UNI in four sets.

    This win also marks the first time in program history that the Salukis have swept the season series against the Panthers. Southern Illinois topped UNI in Carbondale on October 12 in four sets.

    The Salukis (14-12, 9-5 MVC) entered the match with determination to compete with the first ranked team in the conference and did that straight out of the gate. Northern Iowa (18-7, 10-3 MVC) struggled against the Saluki defense posting a match-low hitting efficiency of just .053. The set began as a stalemate with the score tying nine times and two lead changes before Southern went on a 4-0 run to build a comfortable point spread. The Salukis were able to hold off UNI and close out the set, 25-21.

    Northern Iowa found its only success of the night in the second set. The Panthers regained momentum early and were able to push out ahead of Southern with an 11-5 lead. The Salukis showed grit and inched their way back to come within two at 16-14 and continued to remain on the heels of the home team. SIU threatened the UNI lead at 19-18 but the Panthers were able to hold off Southern for a 25-21 second set win.

    Southern Illinois returned from the match break and once again found itself trailing UNI early in the set. The Panthers pulled together several multiple-point runs to take a seven-point lead midway through the set. Again, Southern regrouped and began to battle back. The Salukis were able to score two points at a time before compiling a monster 8-1 run to win the set 27-25.

    The two teams traded points in the opening of the fourth set. SIU took a 17-13 lead and continued to dismantle the Panthers for the duration of the set. The Saluki attackers were hot as SIU recorded a .405 hitting efficiency. Southern closed out the set impressively with a 25-17 victory.



    Jessica Whitehead tallied 21 kills while Meg Viggars recorded a double-double with 12 kills and 22 digs. Elly Braaten added 14 kills and Taylor Pippen knocked in nine.

    Southern was solid again defensively with 69 digs and 17 block assists in four sets of play.

    The Salukis will play their final regular season road match tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Drake.