SIUE volleyball ends successful regular season
The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) volleyball team recently wrapped up its regular season and accepted a bid to participate in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship.
The Cougars wrapped up the regular season with a 23-6 overall record and went 13-3 in conference play. SIUE started the year out hot, winning its first four games of the year. The team opened up its season Aug. 25 at the Fort Wayne Invitational, which helped set the tone for the rest of the season.
SIUE opened up the tournament against the University of Toledo. The Cougars claimed a 3-2 win and were led by Taylor Joens with 18 kills. Emily Harrison and Ashley Witt also turned in solid performances with 13 and 12 kills, respectively.
In the second match of the year, SIUE knocked off the Fort Wayne Mastodons 3-1. The Cougars came from behind in this match after Fort Wayne won the first set 25-17. After dropping the first set, SIUE dominated the rest of the game, winning the next three sets 25-16, 25-14 and 25-14. Joens once again led the Cougars in kills, with 11. Harrison and Jackie Scott also turned in solid performances, with eight kills each.
Next up for SIUE was the Quinnipiac University Bobcats, who the Cougars defeated in straight sets. Witt and Scott led the team with 10 kills each, and Scott recorded 13 digs in the win. Harrison also was one of the best players on the court, finishing the match with a .900 hitting average. With the win over Quinnipiac, the Cougars claimed the Fort Wayne Invitational title. Joens, Harrison and Scott were named to the All-Tournament team.
SIUE then returned home to host Wright State University in a game the Cougars won 3-1. Witt led the Cougars with 11 kills, and Mallory Nicholson recorded 17 digs. With the win, SIUE moved to 4-0 on the season, which was the school’s best start to a season since moving up to Division I.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga would end the Cougars winning streak, defeating SIUE 3-1. However, SIUE bounced back, winning its next match against Georgia State University in straight sets. The 4-0 start to the year was one of many high points during the season for the Cougars. Some other key moments of the regular season include a 3-1 win over Seattle University, a 3-2 victory over Murray State University and a 3-2 win over Eastern Kentucky University. SIUE’s 13-3 Ohio Valley Conference record was good enough to secure the Cougars second place in the conference, behind Austin Peay, who finished with a conference record of 14-2.
With the regular season over, SIUE announced that the school will be taking part in the NIVC tournament, which gets underway Nov. 28. The Cougars were one of 15 teams to receive an automatic bid to the tournament. Other schools participating at the NIVC include the University of North Texas, Sacramento State University and the University of Wyoming. The tournament will feature a field of 32 teams, and the championship match will be held Dec. 12, streaming live on ESPN3.