Oct. 31, 2013
CARBONDALE, Ill.-- The Southern Illinois University volleyball team returns to Carbondale this weekend to host Missouri State on Friday and Wichita State on Saturday. Friday's match agaisnt the Bears will be the Saluki Volleyball's annual Dig for the Cure match.
Friday, November 1 | 7 p.m. CT | Davies Gym
Southern Illinois (12-11, 7-4 MVC) vs. Missouri State (15-9, 6-5 MVC)
Saturday, November 2 | 5 p.m. CT | Davies Gym
Southern Illinois (12-11, 7-4 MVC) vs. Wichita State (20-5, 9-2 MVC)
DIG FOR THE CURE Saluki Athletics and Southern Illinois Healthcare team up to benefit those who are battling cancer in the region with Saluki Volleyball’s annual Dig for the Cure Match. Proceeds will benefit SIH Hope is Home Cancer Center. Fans are encouraged to wear pink.
DAWG BITES Southern Illinois split its matches on the road last weekend. The Salukis picked up a four-set win at Loyola before falling to Bradley in three sets. Jessica Whitehead leads the Salukis offensively averaging 4.06 kills per set ranking second in the Missouri Valley Conference and 37th in the nation. Taylor Pippen follows averaging 2.86 kills per set. The sophomore also tallies 1.16 blocks per set, the third best in the MVC. Three-time Freshman of the Week Hannah Kaminsky averages 10.24 assists per set.
SCOUTING MISSOURI STATE Missouri State enters the weekend riding a two-game win streak after sweeping Drake and SEMO. The Bears sit right behind the Salukis in the standings with a 6-5 conference record. MSU ranks second in the MVC in hitting percentage with a .241 clip and also ranks second in kills averaging 14 per set. The Bears boast setter Carly Thomas who leads the league and ranks 20th in the nation in assists averaging 11.35 per set. MSU has offensive contributions from five different attackers who each contribute over two kills per set. The Bears lead SIU 46-17 in the all-time series, winning 15 of the last 18 meetings.
SCOUTING WICHITA STATE Wichita State stands atop the Valley rankings tied for first place with UNI. Each hold an identical 9-2 conference record. Chelsey Feekin is having a standout senior season averaging 10.58 assists, 1.40 kills, 2.55 digs and 0.79 blocks per set and hitting .416. Fellow senior Ashley Andrade is also having a sensational senior season. She is averaging a team-best 3.17 kills and 1.32 blocks per set and also hitting a team-best .458. Wichita State leads the overall series with the Salukis 36-18. WSU also leads the series in Carbondale, 14-11. WSU head coach Chris Lamb is 25-3 overall against the Salukis and 11-2 in Carbondale. The Shockers have won the last 23 meetings overall.
WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE Missouri State visits Carbondale on Friday for the Salukis annual Dig for the Cure match. Southern will look to defend its home court as the Bears will look for revenge after SIU topped MSU on October 5. The Salukis recorded their first win in Springfield earlier this season for the first time since 1998.
DEJA VU The Salukis currently hold a 7-4 MVC record with a fourth-place standing. This time last season SIU boasted the same conference record and went on to enter the tournament as the fourth seeded team finishing with an 11-7 record in the league.
BATTLE IN THE VALLEY The middle of the pack is still being tightly contested, as Southern Illinois (7-4 MVC), Missouri State (6-5 MVC) and Bradley (5-6 MVC) will duel it out the next four weeks for positioning in the Missouri Valley Conference Volleyball Championship. The top six teams in the league will travel to Wichita, Kan. for the 2013 MVC Volleyball Championships, Nov. 28-30.