Cougars Use Team Performance in Tournament Victory

Aug. 27, 2011

Box Score

EDWARDSVILLE, ILL. - SIUE closed out its own Invitational Tournament Saturday with a three-set victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff 25-13, 25-12, 25-13.

All 12 SIUE players who appeared in the tournament finale recorded at least one kill. Senior middle hitter Jessica Hemann and freshman outside hitter Chelsi Hummert led the Cougars with eight each.

"What we have is a lot of young players, but we have a good core of veterans who can stabilize our team. I give a lot of credit to our veterans but I am excited to see our freshman and the depth of our bench able to contribute," said SIUE Head Coach Leah Johnson.

SIUE evened its record to 2-2 after falling earlier in the day to Wofford in four sets 25-23, 20-25, 25-22, 26-24. Western Illinois, 3-1, was named the tournament champion after defeating Wofford in three sets Saturday afternoon. SIUE had the only tournament victory over Western Illinois.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 0-4, finished with a .000 hitting percentage with 13 kills and 13 attack errors. SIUE, meanwhile, managed 42 kills and a .344 hitting percentage.

"We are aggressive. It does help our defensive tremendously. It allows us to be a strong defensive team," added Johnson.

The Cougars set a season high 12 service aces led by three from Danielle Cushley. Chelsea Colclasure powered the defense with 14 digs.

In the Wofford match, Cori Harris led the Cougars with 12 kills. Kelsey Augustine and Brianne Graunke added 11 each. Sammi Minton recorded 53 assists.

"We are going to spend time looking at our system and how we can improve to be more efficient. That's the goal right now," Johnson said.

SIUE's next action is Tuesday at Illinois State. The first serve is set for 7 p.m. in Normal.

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