Saluki volleyball flat as a pancake so far this season
The Southern Illinois University (SIU) volleyball team appears to have a bit of a stamina problem.
After falling in straight sets to the top-ranked Conference USA Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky in their season opener, the Salukis made a run at Northern Arizona University, scoring six straight points and a win in their opening set, then cutting down the Lumberjacks in the second set as well.
They couldn't hold on, though, and ended up losing the next three sets.
Both of those matches were part of the Salukis' trip to the Miami (Ohio) Tournament in Oxford, Ohio, where they faced the tourney host in their final match. That didn't turn out so well, either, as SIU lost in straight sets despite a strong performance from Andrea Estrada, who racked up 15 kills. It was the 63rd time in her career that she recorded double-digit kills in a match. She also had a .387 hitting percentage in the match.
To the Salukis' credits, all of their first three matches were against tough opponents who competed in last year’s NCAA national tournament.
Following the Ohio trip, the Salukis returned to Carbondale to take on Arkansas State University (ASU), but home wasn't so sweet, either. ASU started the match strong, winning the first set 25-20. The Salukis fought back and evened the match with a 25-22 victory in the second set, but the Red Wolves didn't let up again, winning the next two sets to close out the match.
SIU was led by Maggie Nedoma, who racked up 15 kills, and Kolby Meeks, with 14 kills. Ashley Edelen recorded 22 digs.
SIU will participate in the Western Michigan Tournament as well as the Notre Dame Shamrock Invitational in September. At the Shamrock Invitational, the Salukis will face off against several high-profile opponents, including Notre Dame and Michigan State.
The Salukis open Missouri Valley Conference play against Bradley University in late September.
For more information about the Salukis season or to purchase tickets, visit www.siusalukis.com.