Southern Illinois falls to Northern Iowa in four sets Friday night at Davies Gym.
Nov. 9, 2012
By Robin Thuringer
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois University volleyball team fell to Northern Iowa Friday night at Davies Gym in the first match of its final home stand.
The Panthers (22-8,13-3 MVC) defeated the Salukis (19-7, 9-6 MVC) in four sets 25-19, 25-16, 27-29 and 25-23.
Southern showed glimpses of dominance against the Panthers, especially in the final two sets, challenging UNI to the final points. SIU struck first in the first set taking an early lead but Northern Iowa responded with five multiple-point runs to close out the set.
UNI continued its strong run into the second set, dismantling the Salukis by nine points. Southern held its own only trailing Northern Iowa by two points at 13-11 but the Panthers put together two lethal runs off the serve of Amy Braun and Candice Burke to put away the set.
"Northern Iowa does some things different defensively," said SIU head coach Justin Ingram. "They use two blockers on every attacker and switch that each time with different players off their bench so they were able to hold our middle's to low hitting efficiencies."
The Salukis came out of the set break ready to fight. Southern and Northern Iowa battled for each point tying the set up nine times with six lead changes. Davies Gym became raucous as Bailey Yeager went to the line at set-point. UNI denied that attempt with a kill tying the game at 25-25. A Panther service error placed the ball in Emily Less' hands at set-point but once again Northern Iowa answered. Another UNI service error sent freshman Mary Bogdanskito serve. Bogdanski pulled through for Southern closing out the roller coaster third set 29-27.
Southern played another close match in the fourth set trailing by only one point at 23-24 but UNI was able to close the set and match on a final kill from Molly Turk.
"When it comes down to it in critical times we need to make less errors and go on less negative runs," said Ingram. "I think there were glimpses out there of good volleyball on our end but a team like Northern Iowa isn't going to let you off the hook."
The Salukis showed their stuff defensively recording 17 team blocks and 60 digs but struggled offensively posting a .166 hitting clip off of 48 kills.
Jessica Whitehead led the team offensively tallying 17 kills. Alyisa Mayes worked the net recording 12 block assists. Laura Thole recorded another double-double compiling 11 kills and 11 digs. Bailey Yeagerdefended the backcourt with 20 digs.
Southern Illinois will host Bradley tomorrow night at 7 p.m. for their final home match of the season. Seniors Rachael Brown, Alysia Mayes, Laura Thole, and Bailey Yeager will be recognized in a special ceremony following the match.