The Salukis return to Carbondale welcoming Creighton Friday and Drake Saturday.
Sept. 27, 2012
By Robin Thuringer
CARBONDALE, Ill.- The Southern Illinois University volleyball team will return home this weekend to continue Missouri Valley Conference play. SIU will welcome Creighton on Friday night for the Pack the House event. Drake will travel to Carbondale Saturday for an afternoon matchup with the Salukis.
SIU vs. Creighton
Friday, Sept. 28 7 p.m.
Location: Carbondale, Ill. Site: Davies Gym
SIU vs. Drake
Saturday, Sept. 29 3 p.m.
Location: Carbondale, Ill. Site: Davies Gym
Southern Illinois Salukis (11-3, 2-2 MVC)
Creighton Bluejays (12-2, 3-0 MVC)
Drake Bulldogs (1-12, 0-3 MVC)
RECAPPING LAST WEEK Southern Illinois traveled to Missouri State and Wichita State last weekend for their first Valley road trip of the season. The Salukis battled the Bears and Shockers but came up empty-handed ending their 11-match winning streak. Missouri State topped Southern in four-sets on Friday night while Wichita State swept the Salukis on Saturday night.
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE The Salukis return to Carbondale this weekend hosting the Bluejays of Creighton on Friday night at Davies Gym for their annual Pack the House event. On Saturday the Salukis will welcome Drake for an afternoon matchup. The Salukis are currently undefeated on their home court in the 2012 season with their only three losses of the season occurring on a visiting court.
SIU vs. CREIGHTON Southern Illinois trails their all-time series against Creighton 9-28. Last season the Salukis dropped both their matches to the Bluejays in four and five sets. Creighton is 19-0 against Southern Illinois under the direction of head coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth. In this week’s AVCA Coaches’ Poll, Creighton continues to receive votes (14), which equates to a No. 33 rank. The Bluejays currently sit atop the Valley rankings boasting a 12-2 overall record. CU currently leads the Valley in hitting percentage (.257), and blocks (3.10/set). Kelli Browning leads the MVC in blocks tallying 1.69 per set. Browing also leads her team in hitting percentage with a .394 clip and has also totaled a team-high 88 blocks. Leah McNary leads the Jays in kills with 166 recorded.
SIU vs. DRAKE The Salukis lead their all-time series with the Bulldogs 32-19. Last season, SIU and Drake split their series each recording a win. Drake enters the weekend 1-12 after opening their 2012 season against tough opponents. Drake fell to Auburn, Cincinnati, Wisconsin, and Northwestern in their non-conference matchups to start the season. The Bulldogs recorded their first win this past weekend against the University of Nebraska-Omaha before falling to MVC foe Creighton. Senior Jadranka Tramosljanin is second in the Valley in service aces average. The senior outside hitter is averaging 0.34 per set and has 15 aces overall this season. Senior outside hitter Bentley Mancini leads the Bulldogs with 103 kills and 2.34 kills per set
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 two consecutive weeks. Currently Mayes is nationally ranked in several statistical categories among all Division I players. She is ranked 17th in the nation in hitting percentage (.410), 24th in points per set (4.92), 25th in service aces per set (0.46), and 32nd in blocks per set (1.33).
YEAGER DIGS IN Senior Bailey Yeager continues to move up the record book in career digs. The Brownsburg, Ind. native broke 1,000 digs on September 14 against Indiana State and now totals 1056 digs to place her sixth all-time in SIU history. Yeager is currently ranked 17th in the nation in digs per set.
TRANSFERRING OVER NICELY Rollins College transfer Amy Drabant has been stellar for Southern in her first season as a Saluki. The sophomore setter is atop the rankings in the Missouri Valley Conference in assists with a total of 493 to average 11.74 per set. The Wheaton, Ill. native is currently ranked 11th in the nation in assists per set (11.74).
SERVING IT UP Southern Illinois’ serving has been on-point during the 2012 campaign. The Salukis hold the top spot in the Valley with 72 service aces to average 1.50 per set. Alysia Mayes ranks first individually with 22 aces while Bailey Yeager holds the third spot with 15. Freshman Mary Bogdanski also ranks in the top-10 in the Valley placing sixth with 14 service aces.
TOP-50 TEAM NCAA weekly statistics were released Monday and Southern Illinois is ranked with in the top-50 in six of seven categories among all 328 Division I programs. Southern is ranked 29th in kills per set (14.21), 31st in assisters per set (13.23), 39th in hitting percentage (.256), 41st in aces per set (1.5), 45th in match win-loss percentage (.786), and 50th in blocks per set (2.52).
SALUKI VOLLEYBALL ONLINE All Saluki volleyball news, photos and statistics can be found online at SIUSalukis.com. Fans can also follow SIU volleyball on twitter @SIU_Volleyball or “like” Saluki volleyball on Facebook at facebook.com/SalukiVolleyball.