Southern will open the tournament Friday, Sept. 13 at 4 p.m. CT playing host Marshall.
Sept. 12, 2013
CARBONDALE, Ill.-- Southern Illinois returns to tournament play this weekend when it travels to Huntington, W. Va. for the Marshall Invitational. The Salukis will play a single match against host Marshall Friday, Sep. 13 at 4 p.m. CT, followed by a double header on Saturday, Sep. 14 against Kent State at 9 a.m. and Eastern Kentucky at 4 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 13
4:00 p.m. CT | Southern Illinois vs. Marshall
Saturday, Sept. 14
9:00 a.m. CT | Southern Illinois vs. Kent State
4:00 p.m. CT | Southern Illinois vs. Eastern Kentucky
LAST TIME OUT Southern Illinois completed the K-State Invitational with a 1-2 record. The Salukis opened the tournament shutting out Siena before falling to Kansas State and SEMO. Jessica Whitehead led the SIU offense tallying 46 kills to average 4.18 kills per set, earning All-Tournament accolades. On Tuesday, the Salukis recorded their first home win of the season sweeping Saint Louis University.
FOLLOW THE SALUKIS Live stats for all tournament matches will be available at www.SIUSalukis.com through GameTracker. SIU’s match against Marshall on Friday at 4:00 p.m. can be seen on herdzone.com.
SCOUTING EASTERN KENTUCKY EKU enters the tournament with a 4-3 overall record. Last weekend the Colonels finished the Arizona Invitational 0-3, falling to Utah Valley, Arizona and Butler. Ashley Edmond is the leading attacker for the Colonels averaging 3.63 kills per set. Dena Ott defends the EKU backcourt tallying 4.67 digs per set.
SCOUTING KENT STATE The Golden Flashes hold a 1-5 record after a difficult weekend at the Fullerton Classic. KSU dropped their first match to Cal State Fullerton followed by a four-set loss to Garner-Webb and a five-set loss to William & Mary. Kelly Hutchinson leads the Flash offense recording 2.82 kills per set. Liz Reikow follows with 2.09 kills per set.
SCOUTING MARSHALL Marshall University stands at 2-7 entering the tournament. Last weekend the Herd topped Chicago State but dropped their matches to UIC and Denver. On Tuesday, Marshall fell to East Tennessee, 3-2. Sasha Byous-McConnell leads the Herd offense with a .354 hitting percentage. Ally Kiekover is also a force at the net with 100 totals kills and 22 total blocks this season.
SENIOR STATUS Seniors Jessica Whitehead and Elly Braaten led the Saluki offense this past weekend recording 74 of the Salukis’ 134 kills at the K-State Invitational. Whitehead tallied 46 kills to average 4.18 per set earning All-Tournament accolades. Whitehead had one of her finest outings of the young season as she finished with 14 kills on a .521 hitting percentage against K-State. Whitehead finished the tournament knocking in 28 kills to tie her career-high in a heartbreaking five-set loss to SEMO. Elly Braaten chipped in 28 kills in the tournament to average 2.55 per set.
SOPHOMORE STUD Lone sophomore Taylor Pippen has been holding her own as one of only four returning players for the Salukis. Pippen is currently second on the team in kills with 85 to average 2.83 per set behind senior Jessica Whitehead. The Mundelein, Ill. native leads the team at the net with 32 total blocks to average 1.07 per set.
PACK THE HOUSE Southern Illinois will host Murray State on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. for Pack the House night at Davies Gym. This will be the Salukis’ last non-conference match before Missouri Valley Conference play begins on Sept. 20 when SIU travels to Indiana State.