Salukis host Evansville for Dig for the Cure game

    The Salukis welcome Evansville Friday to Davies Gym for Dig for the Cure game.

    The Salukis welcome Evansville Friday to Davies Gym for Dig for the Cure game.
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    Oct. 5, 2012

    By Robin Thuringer

    Match Notes Get Acrobat Reader

    CARBONDALE, Ill.-- The Southern Illinois University volleyball team will host the University of Evansville Friday for their annual Dig for the Cure match.

    The match that is sponsored by Southern Illinois Healthcare will feature survivor recognition after the second set as well as special promotions. Fans are invited to wear pink.

    SIU vs. Evansville

    Friday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m.

    Location: Carbondale, Ill.  Site: Davies Gym

    Team Facts

    Southern Illinois Salukis (14-3, 4-2 MVC)

    Evansville Purple Aces (7-12, 2-4 MVC)

    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. On Tuesday the Salukis took a break from MVC play to travel to Murray State. The Salukis came back from a two-set deficit to defeat the Racers 3-2.

    HOME SWEET HOME The Salukis defeated Creighton and Drake last 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.

    SIU vs. EVANSVILLE Southern Illinois leads their all-time series with Evansville 33-11. Last season the two teams split their matches, each recording a win. The Purple Aces ended last weekend 1-1. The team defeated Drake in four sets on Friday but fell to the Bluejays of Creighton on Saturday. On Tuesday, Evansville hosted UT Martin. UE swept the Skyhawks to improve to 7-12. Evansville is led offensively by Ashley Ring. The sophomore outside hitter has tallied 254 kills this season to rank third in the Valley. Jenn Murphy leads the team in hitting percentage with a .281 clip. Libero Katie Klages holds down the back court for UE and is first MVC with 363 digs.

    HISTORY IN THE MAKING Southern’s win against Murray State Tuesday night helped SIU to its best-ever record through 17 matches in program history. Overall the Salukis are 14-3 heading into Friday’s match.

    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.

    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.

    A-MAYES-ING Senior Alysia Mayes is having a breakout senior season. The Ashkum, Ill. native recorded a career- high 21 kills Tuesday night at Murray State. The middle blocker also broke an SIU single-match record with 14 block assists. Currently Mayes is nationally ranked in several statistical categories among all Division I players. She is ranked 21st in the nation in points per set (4.93), 23rd in hitting percentage (.400), 35th in service aces per set (0.43), 47th in blocks per set (1.29), and 82nd in kills per set (3.79).

    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 1119 digs to place her fourth all-time in SIU history. Yeager is currently ranked 20th in the nation in digs 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 31st in kills per set (14.18), 36th in assists per set (13.18), 32nd in hitting percentage (.255), 48th in aces per set (1.46), 29th in match win-loss percentage (.813), and 50th in blocks per set (2.45).

    SERVING IT UP Southern Illinois’ serving has been on-point during the 2012 campaign. The Salukis hold the top spot in the Valley with 90 service aces to average 1.48 per set. Alysia Mayes ranks first in the MVC individually with 24 aces while Bailey Yeager holds the second spot with 21. Freshman Mary Bogdanski ranks eighth with 17 servcie aces.