Southern Illinois hosts the Panthers and Braves for their final home stand of the season.
Nov. 8, 2012
By Robin Thuringer
CARBONDALE, Ill.-- The Southern Illinois University volleyball team will host Northern Iowa on Friday night and Bradley on Saturday night in the final two home matches of the season.
Friday, Nov. 9 7 p.m.
SIU (19-6, 9-5 MVC) vs. Northern Iowa (21-8, 12-3 MVC)
Location: Carbondale, Ill. Site: Davies Gym
Saturday, Nov. 10 7 p.m.
SIU (19-6, 9-5 MVC) vs. Bradley (9-17, 3-12 MVC)
Location: Carbondale, Ill. Site: Davies Gym
RECAPPING LAST WEEK Southern Illinois traveled to Evansville last Friday for their only match of the weekend. The Salukis topped the Purple Aces in four sets to improve to 19-6 overall and 9-5 in the MVC.
ON THE HOME FRONT Southern Illinois returns to Carbondale this weekend for their final home stand of the season. The Salukis will welcome UNI on Friday for Maroon Night and Bradley on Saturday for Senior Night. SIU has posted an impressive 10-1 record at home this season and will look to extend that winning record to include their 20th win of the season.
SIU vs. UNI Southern Illinois traveled to UNI on Oct. 13 falling to the Panthers in three sets. Northern Iowa enters the weekend ranking second in the Missouri Valley Conference, one game behind Creighton. Krista Degeest leads UNI offensively. Degeest is sixth in the Valley in hitting percentage with a .305 clip. Molly Turk quarterbacks the Panther offense averaging 11.38 assists per set. Several players including Candice Burke defend the UNI backcourt and Amy Braun who tally 536 and 385 digs, respectively.
SIU vs. BRADLEY Southern Illinois and Bradley last met on October 12th in Peoria. SIU downed the Braves in three-straight sets. Alise Tupurtis and Amy Angelos captain the BU offense leading the team in kills with 277 and 269, respectively. Allie Falter is a force at the net tallying 98 total blocks this season for the Braves and Lauren Zerante leads in the back court with 456 digs.
SALUTE TO SALUKI SENIORS Saturday’s match against Bradley marks the last time the four Saluki seniors will put on the Southern Illinois uniform to play in Davies Gym. Rachael Brown, Alysia Mayes, Laura Thole, and Bailey Yeager will be recognized in a ceremony following their final home match.
SEE YOU IN SPRINGFIELD Southern Illinois secured a spot in the 2012 Missouri Valley Conference Volleyball Championship that will be held Nov. 22-24 in Springfield, Mo. The Salukis will make their 14th tournament appearance in 31 seasons, and the teams first since 2009. With just two conference weekends remaining, positions for the 2012 MVC Volleyball Championship have been locked in by six league teams. The seedings will still be up for grabs with room for maneuvering during the final two weeks of the regular-season.
20/20 VISION The Salukis recorded their 19th win of the season last Friday at Evansville. Southern is now one win away from their first 20-win season since 2002. The 2002 squad finished with a record of 23-10 overall and 12-6 in the Missouri Valley Conference.
HONORS ROLL IN The Missouri Valley Conference recognized Bailey Yeager on Monday with the league’s MVC Leadership & Service Award. The award honors outstanding achievement in the classroom and in the community. Yeager was also named First Team Capital One Academic All-District Team. Alysia Mayes was named a Second-Team All-District Member. Yeager boasts a 3.92 GPA in speech communicatin disorders while Mayes holds a 3.76 GPA in exercise science.Yeager's first-team honor advances her to the ballot for Academic All-America honors, which will be decided in late November
IMMEDIATE IMPACT Saluki newcomers Taylor Pippen and Amy Drabant have played major roles in Southern Illinois’ success this season. Pippen is an offensive threat posting the second highest team hitting efficiency this season with a hitting clip of .286. The freshman has totaled 197 kills to average 2.16 per set. Sophomore Amy Drabant quarterbacks the Saluki offense averaging 11.84 assists per set to total an impressive 1006 assists so far this season.
KILLIN’ IT Senior duo Laura Thole and Alysia Mayes have captained the Saluki offense this season posting impressive numbers offensively. Thole leads the Missouri Valley Conference in kills with 345 to average 3.75 per set while Mayes follows ranking second in the Valley averaging 3.66 kills per set. Junior Jessica Whitehead also has been knocking in kills this season averaging 3.51 per set to place fourth in the MVC.
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 1311 digs to place her fourth all-time in SIU history. Yeager is currently ranked 16th in the nation in digs per set.
MAYES MAKES HISTORY Alysia Mayes recorded a career-high 21 kills at Murray State on Oct. 2. She also broke an SIU single-match record in the same game with 14 block assists. On Friday Oct. 5, Mayes recorded 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. Mayes also ranks eighth all-time in school history in career block-assists with 269. The senior middle blocker also holds a spot inside the top-ten in block solos with a career total of 92 ranking seventh all-time.
HOW MAY I ASSIST YOU? 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 1006 to average 11.84 per set. The Wheaton, Ill. native is currently ranked 8th in the nation in assists per set and is on pace to enter the top-ten in assists in a seaon in SIU program history.
STATISTICALLY SOUND NCAA weekly statistics were released Monday and Southern Illinois is ranked with in the top-100 in six of seven categoires among all 328 Division I programs. Southern is ranked 35th in assists per set (13.13), 37th in match win-loss percentage (0.760), 44th in bocks per set (2.55), 51st in hitting percentage (0.243) and kills per set (13.95) and 96th in digs per set (15.90).
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.