Salukis travel to Kansas State for two-day invitational

    The Salukis first match against Siena College will get underway Friday at 10 a.m.

    The Salukis first match against Siena College will get underway Friday at 10 a.m.
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    Sep 5, 2013

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    Tournament Schedule

    Friday, Sep. 6

    10:00 a.m. | Southern Illinois vs. Siena College

    7:30 p.m. | Southern Illinois vs. Kansas State

    Saturday, Sep. 7

    10:00 a.m. | Southern Illinois vs. Southeast Missouri State

    CARBONDALE, Ill.-- The Southern Illinois volleyball team will travel to Manhattan, Kansas for a two-day invitational hosted by K-State. Southern will face Siena College Friday morning and play host Kansas State in the nightcap. SIU will close out the invitational Saturday at 10 a.m. taking on regional rival Southeast Missouri State.

    LAST TIME OUT Southern Illinois began its 55th season of volleyball last Friday afternoon at the IPFW Hyatt Place Invitational taking on Connecticut in the opening game of the tournament. Southern topped the Huskies 3-2 in a thrilling five-set contest. The Salukis dropped their final two matches of the tournament to 2012 NCAA tournament team IPFW and Duquesne. Hannah Kaminsky earned All-Tournament team accolades. SIU hosted Middle Tennessee on Tuesday for its 2013 home debut. The Salukis rallied from a 2-0 deficit, but couldn't complete the comeback in a five set loss to the Blue Raiders.

    FOLLOW THE SALUKIS Live stats for all tournament matches will be available at through GameTracker. SIU's match against K-State on Friday at 7:30 p.m. can be seen on K-StateHD and audio can be streamed on or

    SCOUTING K-STATE K-State enters the tournament with a perfect 3-0 record after a successful opening weekend at UNLV. The Wildcats played three five-set matches en route to their tournament sweep. Kaitlynn Pelger was named MVP of the UNLV Invitational. Pelger averaged 2.40 kills, 0.47 service aces, 2.07 digs and 1.00 blocks. K-State also turned in All-Tournament team performances from Taylor Johnson and Kersten Kober.

    SCOUTING SIENA The Saints are 1-2 after winning their season opener against Coppin State and being swept by Hofstra and St. John's at the Hofstra Invitational. Outside hitters, senior Taylor Akana and junior Rachel Stoklosa lead the Siena offense. Akana leads the team with 3.20 kills per set while Stoklsa averages 2.40 kills per set.

    SCOUTING SOUTHEAST MISSOURI The Redhawks are 2-1 on the season after splitting matches against Mississippi State and beating UALR at the Maroon Classic in Starkville, Miss. The Redhawks are led by senior middle blocker Emily Coon. Coon was selected as the Maroon Classic MVP after she posted 48 kills, 13 blocks and a .482 attack percentage. In the tournament finale, Coon had 23 kills against Mississippi State. She was named Adidas Ohio Valley Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Week.

    FAMILIAR FACE Former Southern Illinois assistant coach Julie Yankus is in her third season as head coach for Southeast Missouri State. Yankus was with the Salukis from 2006 to 2010 where she mentored four-time All-Missouri Valley Conference player Jennifer Berwanger. SIU seniors Elly Braaten, Emily Less, and Jessica Whitehead played for Yankus during their freshman season.

    REGIONAL RIVALRY Southern Illinois leads the all-time series against SEMO, 16-8. The Redhawks lost to the Salukis in 2012 in five sets. SIU has a four-game winning streak against the Redhawks going back to 2008. The Redhawks last beat SIU on Oct. 9, 2007 in four sets.

    BLOCK PARTY After the first weekend of competition, Southern Illinois leads the Missouri Valley Conference in blocks. The Salukis tallied a total of 40.5 blocks to average 2.53 per set. Sophomore Taylor Pippen ranks fifth in the league averaging 1.19 blocks per set.

    HOMEWARD BOUND Southern will have a quick turn around as the Salukis will host Saint Louis University on Tuesday, September 10 at Davies Gym.