Southern Illinois will kick-off MVC play this weekend traveling to Indiana State and Illinois State.
Sept. 19, 2013
CARBONDALE, Ill.-- With the conclusion of non-conference play this past week, the Southern Illinois volleyball team will begin Missouri Valley Conference play this weekend traveling to Indiana State and Illinois State.
Friday, September 20 | 6 p.m.
Southern Illinois (5-7) vs. Indiana State (5-5) | Live Stats
Sunday, September 22 | 1:05 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT Southern Illinois completed the Marshall Invitational with a 1-2 record. The Salukis fell to host Marshall and Kent State in straight sets but picked up a four-set win against Eastern Kentucky. On Tuesday, the Salukis hosted Murray State. Southern dominated the court topping the Racers in four sets.
SCOUTING INDIANA STATE The Sycamores enter Valley play with a 5-5 record. Last weekend ISU finished the Wright State Invitational with a 1-2 record. Indiana State fell to Murray State and Wright State before picking up a four-set win over Robert Morris. Morgan Dall and Bree Spangler are the leading attackers for Indiana State. Dall has tallied 180 kills this season to average 4.29 per set. Sprangler averages 2.18 per set. Southern Illinois swept the Sycamores in both their meetings last season.
SCOUTING ILLINOIS STATE Illinois State is off to a 7-3 start this season. The Redbirds finished their non-conference schedule this past weekend at the Butler Tournament. ISU fell to Butler and Michigan State before finishing the weekend sweeping IPFW. Emily Schneider is third in the MVC in hitting percentage, posting an impressive hitting clip of .379. Schneider averages 2.17 kills per set. Preseason All-Conference selection Ashley Rosch leads the Redbirds in kills with 109 recorded this season. The Salukis and Redbirds last meeting was at the MVC Quarterfinals. ISU topped Southern Illinois, 3-0.
SOPHOMORE STUD Taylor Pippen recorded a career-high nine block assists last Saturday to help the Salukis top Eastern Kentucky, 4-1. Pippen finished the weekend with 16 block assists to now rank fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference. This season Pippen has tallied 48 total-blocks to average 1.20 per set.
WHITE-HOT Jessica Whitehead earned All-Tournament accolades for the second weekend in a row. The senior outside hitter tallied 37 kills to average 3.70 per set. Whitehead also recorded 11 block assists averaging 1.10 blocks per set. Currently, Whitehead ranks second in the Valley with a total of 177 kills. On Tuesday night, she was virtually untouchable against Murray State knocking in 25 kills for an impressive attack percentage of .465. Whitehead worked the Racer defense only committing five errors on her 43 attempts.
MVC PRESEASON POLL Southern Illinois was selected to finish fifth in the Missouri Valley Conference preseason coaches poll. Southern returns four letterwinners from a team that finished 21-9, 11-7 MVC in 2012. Fresh off its first-ever NCAA Sweet 16 appearance, Wichita State was tabbed as the league favorite.
MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE The Valley will look to continue to build off the success of another historic season in 2012 that saw three league teams selected as part of the field of 64 teams to play for the NCAA national title. This marked the fifth time in league history that three volleyball teams were invited to the dance (also in 2011, 2010, 2008 and 2007). The Valley earned three first-round NCAA Tournament wins for the first time in MVC history, while Wichita State advanced to its first-ever Sweet 16 after knocking off Arkansas in second-round action.