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SIUE Gains No. 2 Seed for OVC Tourney

Emily Harrison
Emily Harrison

OVC Tournament Bracket

MURRAY, Ky. – SIUE volleyball earned the No. 2 seed to next week's Ohio Valley Conference Tournament and will face seventh-seeded Morehead State at 1:30 p.m. Thursday back in Murray, Ky. SIUE, 20-7 overall and 13-3 in the Ohio Valley Conference, completed the regular season with school records for overall Division I wins and OVC wins.

The Cougars collected double digit blocks for the 12th time this season but dropped its regular season finale Saturday night in a five-set thriller 22-25, 25-10, 17-25, 25-21, 15-10 at Murray State.

SIUE Head Coach Leah Johnson said her team will get a fresh start after returning to campus.

"We have to keep our eyes on the conference tournament," said Johnson. "We've worked hard to earn a good seed. Now we're starting a new season."

The OVC Tournament is an eight-team, single-elimination tournament. The tournament champion earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Tournament.

SIUE, which had a season-best nine-match winning streak heading into the night, became the first team this season to take two sets on Murray State's home court. It also took five sets for Murray State to become the first team this season to defeat SIUE and defend its home turf.

The Cougars' blocking game was on display with six each from Taylor Joens and Carley Ramich. Emily Harrison and Jackie Scott added five and four, respectively. SIUE finished with 13 total blocks.

The two teams exchanged set victories with the Cougars winning the first and third set and the Racers taking the second and fourth sets.

"We played so hard and made great adjustments," said Johnson. "They had to make multiple changes to adapt to beat us."

Harrison led the SIUE offense with 15 kills. Scottie Ingram led the Racers with 16 kills.

Murray State, OVC regular season champions with a 15-1 league record and a 20-8 record overall, took a quick 7-2 lead in the fifth set. SIUE charged back, pulling within one at 9-8 on a Murray State attack error. However, Murray State picked up a pair of kills from Ingram and a service ace by Hannah Stultz to collect the win.

"There were some amazing hustle plays all night," said Johnson. "I think we played with a lot of heart. We have a lot to be proud of."

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