Oct. 20, 2010
By Dana Ingraham
Date: Friday, Oct. 22 - "Dig for the Cure"
Location: Carbondale, Ill.
Site: Davies Gym (1,250)
The Series: SIU leads Evansville, 31-10
Head Coaches: Brenda Winkeler (165-154 overall, 83-82 at SIU); Mike Swan (487-365 overall, 100-135 at UE)
Saluki Assistant Coaches: Julie Yankus (Associate Head Coach); Evan Hook (Assistant Coach)
Live Stats: click here
Video Stream: click here
Match Notes: click here
The Southern Illinois volleyball team is in its 53rd year of existence... Head Coach Brenda Winkeler is in her sixth season with the team and holds an 83-82 (.503) record... Last season the Salukis finished with an 18-12 record and were 7-11 in Missouri Valley Conference play, making their second appearance in the conference tournament in three years... SIU started the 2009 season 11-0, the best start in school history.
SALUKIS' SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
SIU (12-7, 3-6 MVC) returns home to Davies Gym this weekend to begin the second half of Missouri Valley Conference play. The Salukis will match up against travel partner Evansville Friday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m.
The Purple Aces entered the 2010 season with five returning starters and eight returning letterwinners. Evansville, led by Mike Swan in his ninth season, recorded a 14-16 overall record last year, finishing 7-11 in the Valley for a seventh place finish. This season the Purple Aces are 16-5 and 5-4 in the MVC heading into their second meeting with SIU. Brooke Maher leads UE's offense with 3.62 kills per set, while Katie Klages heads up the defense posting 4.38 digs per set. Ellen Sawin leads the Valley overall with 10.27 assists per set, and Emily Wandersee averages 1.11 blocks per set. Wandersee is second overall in the Valley in hitting percentage (.348).
DOING IT BETTER AT DAVIES
Southern Illinois can attest to the benefits of home court advantage. The Salukis have a 6-2 record at Davies Gym this season, winning three out of their last five contests on their home floor.
Jennifer Berwanger (11 kills, 11 digs) and Rachael Brown (25 assists, 11 digs) both recorded double-doubles against Missouri State last weekend, marking the fourth time this season that two or more Salukis have posted a double-double in the same match.
For a team that is second in the Valley overall in opponent hitting percentage, the Salukis had the tables turned on them against Wichita State and Missouri State. The Shockers and the Bears held SIU to its two lowest hitting percentages of the season on back-to-back nights.
Jennifer Berwanger's 23 kills and 17 digs against Illinois State Oct. 9 marked the 50th double-double of her career. She has recorded a kills-digs double-double in four out of SIU's last five matches.
PROTECTING THEIR HOUSE
Prior to its back-to-back wins over Indiana State and Illinois State at home Oct. 8-9, SIU had not won two consecutive Valley matches in Davies Gym on the same weekend since 2002, when the Salukis swept Creighton and Drake on their home court.
In the most recent NCAA national standings for matches through Oct. 17, the Salukis remain 24th in the country in digs per set, averaging 17.08, and stand at 45th in blocks per set, averaging 2.46. SIU also broke the top-100 in assists per set, at 89th with 12.14 and kills per set at 93rd with 13.10. Individually, Jasmine Conner is No. 42 in the nation in blocks per set, averaging 1.21, while Rachael Brown is ranked No. 56 in assists per set with 10.41.
The Southern Illinois volleyball team dropped to 122 in RPI this week. Seven Valley teams have cracked the top-100, including UNI which is ranked sixth, Missouri State (23rd), Wichita State (28th), Creighton (40th), Drake (56th), Evansville (81st) and Illinois State (91st).
PICKED SIXTH IN PRESEASON MVC COACHES POLL
SIU was picked to finish sixth in the Valley in the preseason MVC Coaches poll, one spot behind where it was slated to finish a year ago. In 2009, the Salukis finished the regular season in sixth place in the MVC, falling to Wichita State, 3-1, in the opening round of the tournament. Defending champion UNI was unanimously picked to repeat this year, receiving all 10 first-place votes.