Southern Illinois finished second in the MVC Tournament Saturday evening.
Nov. 30, 2013
WICHITA, Kan.— The Southern Illinois University volleyball team fell in three sets to Wichita State in the title match of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Saturday evening. The Salukis fell by scores of 20-25, 17-25,18-25.
“We beat Wichita before and felt great about the way we have been playing the last month,” said SIU head coach Justin Ingram. “Our expectation was to come in and win this thing.”
Taylor Pippen came out firing in the first set knocking in two consecutive kills to start the Saluki rally. Southern would take a 7-2 lead before the Shockers started to attack. The score knotted up seven times and as late as 18-all. Southern committed four errors in the conclusion of the set helping the Shockers to a 25-20 first set win.
Wichita State (28-6) controlled the second set not allowing Southern (20-13) a lead. The Salukis committed errors at the net giving the Shockers an 18-12 advantage. Southern Illinois fought back however, compiling a 5-0 run with the help of Taylor Pippen and Jessica Whitehead to trail the home team by two points at 19-17. The Shockers ended the set on a 6-0 rally courtesy of four WSU kills and two Saluki errors.
“Our serve receive broke down in certain rotations and they were able to score easy points,” said Ingram. “Offensively it wasn’t our best performance and that will not sustain us in a championship match against a championship team.”
Southern Illinois rattled off a 6-0 run in the third set to lead the Shockers 12-9. The set would go back and forth with the latest tie occurring at 16. Wichita State seized the momentum going on four-separate multiple-point runs to create a deficit the Salukis could not recover from. WSU took the set 25-18 to complete the sweep.
Southern Illinois concluded its season with an overall record of 20-13 and advanced to the MVC title match for the first time since 2002.
“This is tough but when we look back on everything we have accomplished this season we are really proud and are going to have our heads high.”
The Salukis will graduate three seniors and return 12 players to the 2014 team.