SIUE Volleyball Wins Reverse Sweep Victory Over Eastern Kentucky; Vineyard Wins All-Star Tournament Team Honors
CHICAGO – Volleyball is played best of five – the Cougars needed all five sets to claim their second win of the season, completing a rare reverse sweep from the Eastern Kentucky Colonels on Saturday afternoon (18-25, 22-25, 25 -21, 25 -23, 15-11).
The Colonels gave SIUE all they could manage in the first two sets, hitting a .357 clip in the first set and a .343 clip in the second to win the sets by 10 points combined. However, the Cougars’ next point mentality turned out to be the difference in the next three sets, as they would keep the EKU forwards at a below .275 hit percentage for the remainder of the game, overtaking the Colonels by a factor of 65-55. This is SIUE’s first reverse sweep of the season and one of the first reverse sweeps of the season in all of Division I.
“We love how hard we had to fight for this victory,” said SIUE head coach Kendall paulus following the victory. “Eastern Kentucky really challenged us defensively. Coming back after two sets is tough not only physically, but mentally. For us to take that off and bounce back shows our courage.”
Individually, the Cougars were led offensively by Julia treichel and Savannah Christian, which recorded 13 and 12 kills, respectively. Christian’s efforts are doubly impressive, as she peaked 0.409 for the season. Drifka also led SIUE in assists with 25, followed closely by Grace Beekman’s 17. The Cougars’ blocking prowess also returned in today’s game, as SIUE combined for a total of 15 team blocks against just six of the Colonels. Jessica vineyard, who won all-star tournament honors for the first time in his Cougar career, led all players with eight blocks in total. Annie ellis finished with six blocks in total, equaling the total for the entire EKU side.
“We made a lot of substitute changes, roster changes and we always felt good team chemistry,” added Paulus. “We had a lot of diverse players and it shows how much we can move them.”
The Cougars will return to action next Friday when they make the long-distance trip to Fort Collins, Colo., For their last non-conference weekend tournament of the season. The first serve of their weekend opener against Colorado State is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. CT.