The Southern Illinois volleyball team under the direction of first-year head coach Justin Ingram wrapped up the 2012 season 21-9 overall and 11-7 in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Dec. 3, 2012
CARBONDALE, Ill.--The Southern Illinois volleyball team under the direction of first-year head coach Justin Ingram wrapped up the 2012 season 21-9 overall and 11-7 in the Missouri Valley Conference.
With that record SIU finished fourth in the Valley earning themselves a trip to the 2012 MVC Championships as the fourth seeded team.
This season marked Sothern's first 20-win season since the 2002 squad finished with an overall record of 23-10 and 12-6 in the MVC. The last 20-win season prior to 2002 was in 1986 when SIU competed in the Gateway Conference.
The Salukis kicked-off their season with a 9-0 home stand. SIU's last longest winning stretch occurred during the 1994 season when the team went 8-0.
In league play, Southern Illinois topped Creighton on Sep. 28 in four sets to defeat the Bluejays for the first time in ten years. Until then, Creighton held a 19-match winning streak over the Salukis dating back to 2002. SIU remained the only Missouri Valley Conference team to defeat Creighton this season.
SIU finished strong statistically ranking second in the MVC in blocks, third in assists, and fourth in hitting percentage. Individually, Alysia Mayes was one of the leagues top attackers placing third in the conference in hitting percentage with a clip of .361. Freshman Taylor Pippen nabbed the 10th spot with an efficiency of .286. Mayes and Pippen also led the Valley in blocks ranking second and 10th, respectively. Amy Drabant finished second in the MVC in assists averaging 11.41 per set.
The record book was shaken up this season as several Salukis inked their names in. Senior Bailey Yeager broke the single-season digs record recording a total of 630 digs. Sophomore setter Amy Drabant recorded 1,178 assists to rank 10th all-time in assists in a season and senior Laura Thole recorded 1,212 attempts to rank second all-time in a single season.
Bailey Yeager, Rachael Brown, and Alysia Mayes were named First Team MVC Scholar-Athletes. This honor for Brown, Mayes and Yeager marks the first time three Saluki volleyball players have been selected to the MVC Scholar-Athlete First team since 2002 when Kristie Kemner, Lindsey Schultz and Britten Follett were recognized.
Three Salukis also earned All-Conference honors this season. Seniors Alysia Mayes and Laura Thole were selected to the All-MVC First Team while Taylor Pippen was named to the MVC All-Freshman Team. Taylor Pippen was also named to the 2012 MVC All-Tournament team.