The Salukis break from MVC play to take on Murray State Tuesday night.
Oct. 1, 2012
By Robin Thuringer
CARBONDALE, Ill.--The Southern Illinois University volleyball team will take a break from Missouri Valley Conference play to face the Racers of Murray State on Tuesday at Racer Arena.
SIU vs. MURRAY STATE
Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m.
Location: Murray, Ky. Site: Racer Arena
Southern Illinois Salukis (13-3, 4-2 MVC)
Murray State Racers (3-10, 1-3 OVC)
RECAPPING LAST WEEK Southern Illinois hosted Creighton and Drake for the third weekend of Missouri Valley Conference play. The Salukis defeated both their opponents in four sets to end the weekend 2-0.
SIU vs. MURRAY STATE Southern Illinois leads its all-time series with Murray State 14-2. The two teams met up last season in Carbondale. Southern swept the Racers 25-20, 25-22, 25-22. Murray State hosted Austin Peay last Tuesday and dropped the set in four matches. Saturday the Racers met up with Morehead State but fell in three-straight sets to the Eagles. MSU has two players posting triple-digit kills this season. Taylor Olden leads the team with 122 while Emily Schmahl follows with 112. Holding down the backcourt for the Racers is Katlyn Hudson who has tallied 157 digs. Alyssa Lelm is a powerhouse at the net for Murray. Lelm has recorded 13 solo bloacks and 30 stuff blocks to total 43 on the season.
HOME SWEET HOME The Salukis defeated Creighton and Drake over the weekend to remain undefeated at home this season. Southern is now 8-0 on their home court. SIU has not won eight in a row at home since the 1994 season. The Salukis will return to Carbondale on Friday to continue MVC play hosting the Purple Aces of Evansville.
STREAK SNAPPED Southern Illinois topped Creighton on Friday in four sets to defeat the Bluejays for the first time in 10 years. Creighton held a 19-match winning streak over the Salukis before entering the competition. Saluki fans created a raucous environment at Davies Gym for Pack the House Night. It was the second-highest attendance in the 35-year history of the facility. Creighton and Southern will have a rematch on October 27 when the Salukis travel to Omaha.
VALLEY VICTORIES After the third week of Missouri Valley play, Southern Illinois holds a conference record of 4-2. This marks the best conference start for the Salukis since they opened the 1995 MVC season at 6-0.
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 1099 digs to place her fifth 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 588 to average 11.76 per set. The Wheaton, Ill. native is currently ranked 11th in the nation in assists per set.
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).
SERVING IT UP Southern Illinois' serving has been on-point during the 2012 campaign. The Salukis hold the top spot in the Valley with 82 service aces to average 1.46 per set. Alysia Mayes ranks first individually with 24 aces while Bailey Yeager holds the fourth spot with 17. Freshman Mary Bogdanski is tied for fourth with Yeager with 17 service aces.