The Salukis continue Valley play on the road this weekend.
Sept. 20, 2012
By Robin Thuringer
CARBONDALE, Ill.-- The Southern Illinois University volleyball team travels to Missouri State Friday before heading to Wichita State Saturday in Missouri Valley Conference action.
Friday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m. SIU at Missouri State
Location: Springfield, Mo. Site: Hammons Student Center
Saturday, Sept. 22, 7 p.m. SIU at Wichita State
Location: Wichita, Kan. Site: Koch Arena
Southern Illinois Salukis (11-1, 2-0 MVC) Head Coach: Justin Ingram, First Season
Missouri State Bears (6-7, 1-1 MVC) Head Coach: Melissa Stokes, 17th Season
Wichita State Shockers (7-4, 1-1 MVC) Head Coach: Chris Lamb 13th Season
RECAPPING LAST WEEK SIU had a quick turn around welcoming SEMO on Tuesday night at Davies Gym after hosting the Saluki Invitational. SIU topped the Redhawks in a five set thriller to close out non-conference play. The Salukis began MVC play on Friday night hosting Indiana State knocking down the Sycamores in three-sets. Illinois State traveled to Carbondale for a match-up with SIU on Saturday afternoon. The Salukis downed the Redbirds in three-sets to open conference play 2-0 and extend their winning streak to 11 matches.
SIU vs. MISSOURI STATE Southern Illinois trails their all-time series against the Lady Bears 15-38. Southern and Missouri State met up two times last season. The Bears took both matches from the Salukis in three sets. Missouri State enters the weekend 6-7 with a 1-1 mark in the MVC. MSU has been tested early in the season dueling with #11 Dayton and #22 Kansas State. The Bears dropped both sets but rebounded with a sweep of UCONN. Missouri State fell to Creighton in their conference opener but picked up a win on Saturday night at Drake. Amber Doolittle leads the attack for MSU with a hitting efficiency of .338 to rank fourth in the conference while Christin McCartney leads the team in kills with 162. Ashley Mason holds down the backcourt for the Bears tallying 214 digs to lead the team.
SIU vs. WICHITA STATE The Salukis trail their all-time series with Wichita State 38-16. WSU swept Southern in both their meetings last season. The Shockers opened the season with a tough schedule facing two nationally ranked teams. WSU downed #24 Colorado State in four sets and fell to #14 Tennessee in five sets. Last weekend WSU fell to Creighton but grabbed their first Valley win against Drake. Junior Chelsey Feekin is in second place in the MVC in hitting percentage with a .455 clip. MVC Preseason All-Conference selection Emily Adney leads the Shockers in kills with 136 compiled.
A-MAYES-ING Senior Alysia Mayes is having a breakout senior season. The Ashkum, Ill. native was named the MVC's Player of the Week for the second consecutive week. Mayes knocked in 45 kills averaging 4.09 kills per set for a hitting clip of .419 to lead the Valley. The middle blocker was also on-point behind the line this week tallying six service aces to also top the MVC with a total of 21 aces on the season. Defensively, Mayes recorded three block solos and aided in 12 stuff blocks to total 15 blocks in three matches for an average of 1.36 blocks per set. Currently Mayes is nationally ranked in several statistical categories among all Division I players. She is ranked sixth in the nation in hitting percentage (.461), ninth in points per set (5.18), 17th in service aces per set (0.51), and 18th in blocks per set (1.44).
YEAGER DIGS IN Senior Bailey Yeager was named the MVC's Defensive Player of the Week and Scholar-Athlete of the Week. The libero recorded 20 digs on Friday night against Indiana State to break 1000 digs in her career at Southern. In three sets against SEMO, Indiana State, and Illinois State Yeager tallied a total of 76 digs for an average of 6.91 per set to lead the Missouri Valley Conference. The Brownsburg, Ind. native now totals 1022 digs to place her sixth all-time in SIU history. Yeager is currently ranked 15th in the nation in digs per set.
TOP-50 TEAM NCAA statistics were released Monday and Southern Illinois is ranked with in the top-50 in all seven categories among all 328 Division I programs. Southern is ranked 15th in match win-loss percentage (.917), 23rd in hitting percentage (.272), 25th in kills per set (14.34), 26th in aces (1.61) and assists per set (13.29), 42nd in blocks per set (2.56), and 45th digs per set (16.61).
SALUKIS TOP THE CHARTS Southern Illinois tops five of seven categories in the Missouri Valley Conference team statistics. The Salukis hold the top spot in hitting percentage, opponent hitting percentage, assists, kills, and service aces. Individually, senior Alysia Mayes leads the Valley in hitting percentage (.461) and service aces (21) and takes the second spot in blocks and kills. Defensive specialist Bailey Yeager leads the league in digs with 5.56 per set. Laura Thole is third in kills (156) and transfer setter Amy Drabant nabs the top spot in assists (11.63/set).