Nov. 16, 2011
By Bill Ford
CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Southern Illinois volleyball team closes out its 2011 season as the Salukis host Bradley Friday and Northern Iowa Saturday for senior night.
Southern Illinois Salukis (9-16, 3-13 MVC)
Head Coach: Brenda Winkeler, Seventh Year (176-177 overall, 94-105 at SIU)
Bradley Braves (11-15, 4-12 MVC)
Head Coach: Jenny Maurer, First Year (52-86 overall, 11-15 at Bradley)
Northern Iowa Panthers (28-1, 16-0 MVC)
Head Coach: Bobbi Petersen, 12th Year (317-77 overall and at UNI)
SIU VS. BRADLEY
SIU leads its all-time series with Bradley 35-15, although the Braves snapped an 11-match Saluki win streak in the series earlier this season in Peoria. The Braves haven’t won are, however, 0-9 on the road this season and haven’t beaten Southern in Carbondale since 2003. Bradley topped Drake and Creighton last week in Peoria to rise from 10th to 8th in the MVC standings, and the Braves need to beat SIU and Evansville this week in order to stay in contention for an MVC Tournament bid. The Braves are led offensively by sophomore Alise Tupuritis, who averages 3.04 kills per set. Behind Tuperitis, sophomore middle blocker Amy Angelos average 2.57 kills per set while five other Braves figure for more than one kill per set. Bradley’s freshman setter Madison Kamp averages 9.80 assists per set while senior libero Rachelle Dejean leads the defense with an average of 3.68 digs per set.
LEADING THE SALUKIS
The Saluki offense is led by a trio of attackers that each average more than two kills per set. Sophomore outside hitter Jessica Whitehead ranks fourth in the MVC with a season average of 3.37 kills per set while junior outside Laura Thole is sixth in the league at 3.20 kills per set. Junior middle blocker Alysia Mayes rounds out Southern’s top attackers with an average of 2.66 kills per set with a .335 hitting percentage. Junior setter Rachael Brown ranks fourth in the Valley with an average of 9.91 assists per set. The Salukis have four players averaging more than two digs per set, led by junior libero Bailey Yeager’s 3.97 per set, which ranks eighth in the MVC. Thole is second on the team with an average of 2.97 digs per set and Brown is third at 2.87 and Caitlin Schumacher is fourth at 2.12.
RECAPPING LAST WEEK
The Salukis suffered a pair of sweeps on the road at the hands of two of the MVC’s top teams in Wichita State and Missouri State. Laura Thole came up with her 14th double-double of the season with 13 kills and 10 digs against the Shockers while Jessica Whitehead chipped in eight kills. Sarah James led Southern with nine kills and five total blocks against the Bears and Bailey Yeager added 12 digs.
YEAGER NEARS DIGS LIST
Junior libero Bailey Yeager needs just three digs to move into the SIU top 10 list for digs in a season. Kristy Elswick (2005-08) currently holds the 10th spot with 396 digs in 2008.
MAYES MOVES UP
Junior middle blocker Alysia Mayes took sole possession of 10th place in the school record books for career solo blocks. She now has 74 for her career, sitting seven behind ninth-place Dorothy Buchannan (1985-87).