Southern will hit the road playing the Braves on Friday and the Panthers on Saturday.
Oct. 11, 2012
By Robin Thuringer
CARBONDALE, Ill.-- The Southern Illinois University volleyball team travels to Bradley Friday before heading to Northern Iowa Saturday in Missouri Valley Conference action.
Friday, Oct. 12, 6 p.m.
SIU (15-3, 5-2 MVC) at Bradley (6-12, 0-7 MVC)
Location: Peoria, Ill. Site: Renaissance Coliseum
Saturday, Oct. 13, 7 p.m.
SIU (15-3, 5-2 MVC) at Northern Iowa (14-6, 6-1 MVC)
Location: Cedar Falls, Iowa Site: McLeod Center
RECAPPING LAST WEEK 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. Southern hosted Evansville on Friday for their Dig for the Cure night. SIU topped Evansville in three sets to improve their record to 15-3.
SIU vs. BRADLEY Southern Illinois leads their all-time series with Bradley 35-16. Last season the Salukis dropped both of their matches to the Braves. On Friday, Bradley lost a five-set thriller to Drake. Saturday BU traveled to Creighton where the Bluejays topped the Braves in four sets. Bradley is lead offensively by Alise Tupuritis. Tupuritis has recorded a team-high 202 kills for Bradley. Amy Angelos follows with 190 kills. Madelyn Ervin is seventh in the Valley in service aces with a total of 19. Lauren Zerante is the team leader in digs with 313.
SIU vs. NORTHERN IOWA The Salukis trail their all-time series with Northern Iowa 7-48. UNI’s 59-match MVC regular-season winning streak was snapped last Friday night when Creighton knocked the Panthers from the ranks of the Valley unbeaten. UNI and Creighton now sit atop the Valley rankings each with a 6-1 mark. The Panthers lead the Valley in kills and digs. Megan Lehman leads the team in kills with 231 to place seventh in the MVC. Candice Burke is third in the Valley with digs totaling 355 to lead UNI.
HOME SWEET HOME The Salukis defeated Evansville on Friday night to remain undefeated at home this season. Southern is now 9-0 on their home court. SIU’s last longest home winning stretch occurred during the1994 season when the team went 8-0. Southern Illinois will return home Oct. 19 and 20 hosting Wichita State and Missouri State.
VALLEY VICTORIES After the fourth week of Missouri Valley play, Southern Illinois holds a conference record of 5-2. This marks the best conference start for the Salukis since they opened the 1995 MVC season at 6-1.
RPI RATINGS The first edition of the NCAA RPI (Oct. 1) saw six Valley teams in the top-100. The Rating Percentage Index is one of many factors used by NCAA sports committees when evaluating Division I teams for postseason selection, seeding and bracketing. Creighton leads the Valley teams (26), and is followed by UNI (46), Wichita State (54), Southern Illinois (73), Missouri State (95) and Illinois State (100).
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. On Friday night, Mayes came out swinging with 16 kills on 19 attempts to post a career-high hitting efficiency of .842. Mayes now ranks third all-time in SIU history for a single match hitting percentage. Currently Mayes is nationally ranked in several statistical categories among all Division I players. She is ranked 11th in the nation in hitting percentage (.415), 13th in blocks per set (1.47), 17th in points per set (509), 63rd in kills per set (3.89), and 66th in aces per set (0.38).
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 1139 digs to place her fourth all-time in SIU history. Yeager is currently ranked 20th 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 670 to average 11.75 per set. The Wheaton, Ill. native is currently ranked 9th 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 five of seven categories among all 328 Division I programs. Southern is ranked 22nd in match win-loss percentage (.833), 27th in hitting percentage (.262), 37th in kills per set (14.06) and assists per set (13.13), and 43rd in blocks per set (2.59).
SERVING IT UP Southern Illinois’ serving has been on-point during the 2012 campaign. The Salukis hold the top spot in the Valley with 93 service aces to average 1.45 per set. Alysia Mayes ranks second in the MVC individually with 24 aces while Bailey Yeager holds the third spot with 21. Freshman Mary Bogdanski ranks sixth with 18 service aces.
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.