Sponsored

Cougars Open Classic With Four-Set Win

Emily Harrison and Taylor Joens celebrate a point
Emily Harrison and Taylor Joens celebrate a point

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE ran its season record to 4-0 with a four-set victory over Wright State in the opening match at the Cougar Classic Presented by DoubleTree Hotels.

This is SIUE's fastest start during the Division I era and equals the start of the 2007 team, the program's last non-Division I squad.

SIUE defeated Wright State 25-20, 25-15, 23-25, 25-13 in front of a crowd of 314 at the Vadalabene Center. The Cougars have two matches left in the tournament with a 12:30 p.m. contest against Tulsa followed by a 7 p.m. match against UMKC.

"We talked before the match about having some pregame jitters with a home opener," said Acting Head Coach Kendall Paulus. "We talked about being OK with that and embracing it."

The Cougars came out strong in the opening two sets, hitting better than .300. Set three was a bit of a roadblock, however, after committing 10 attack errors, more than in the other three sets combined. The Cougars made it close despite falling behind 13-4 in the set.

SIUE steamrolled through the fourth set. After holding a 9-7 lead, the Cougars went on a 9-1 run off serving from Jordyn Klein and Katie Shashack.

Six different players finished the match with seven or more kills. Ashley Witt led the team with 11 kills and a .370 hitting percentage.

Taylor Joens and Jackie Scott collected nine each. Dylynn Otte and Emily Harrison notched eight apiece while Kiana Fields added seven.

"We were really able to be balanced," noted Paulus.

SIUE's defense collected 83 digs with another balanced effort. Setter Mallory Nicholson led the squad with 17. Shashack (15), Klein (14), Scott (13) and Samantha Knight (11) also finished in double digits.

For the match, SIUE hit .233 as a team while holding Wright State to .097 team hitting. Katie Klusman led Wright State with 14 kills.

The Cougars were able to maneuver through opening night jitters.

"I think it was just working through a different lineup, different players, running some different sets and just finding what works for us," said Knight.

 

Cougars Bow Out of the NIVC
November 29, 2017 Cougars Bow Out of the NIVC
Joens, Witt Named All-OVC
November 15, 2017 Joens, Witt Named All-OVC
SIUE Sweeps Eastern Illinois
November 1, 2017 SIUE Sweeps Eastern Illinois
SIUE Sweeps Tennessee Tech
October 21, 2017 SIUE Sweeps Tennessee Tech
SIUE Volleyball Dispatches EIU
September 27, 2017 SIUE Volleyball Dispatches EIU
PREVIEW: SIUE Opens Up OVC Play
September 21, 2017 PREVIEW: SIUE Opens Up OVC Play
SIUE Wins Cougar Invite
September 16, 2017 SIUE Wins Cougar Invite
SIUE Sweeps Georgia State
September 9, 2017 SIUE Sweeps Georgia State
Cougars Drop Tournament Opener
September 8, 2017 Cougars Drop Tournament Opener
Cougars Down Fort Wayne
August 26, 2017 Cougars Down Fort Wayne