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SIUE Triumphs in Cougar Invite Opener

Taylor Joens
Taylor Joens

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE improved to 8-2 Friday with a four-set win over Seattle on the opening day of the Cougar Invite at the Vadalabene Center.

The Cougars bested the Redhawks 25-14, 27-25, 22-25, 25-21. Seattle fell to 4-8 after defeating Montana in the tournament opener earlier in the day.

"They (Seattle) are very similar to an OVC school – pretty big and physical," said Acting SIUE Head Coach Kendall Paulus. "It's something we'll see starting next week."

SIUE has two more matches in the Cougar Invite before thinking about the Ohio Valley Conference season. The Cougars face Montana at 11 a.m. and UIC at 6 p.m.

Three SIUE players finished in double figures in kills led by 12 from Emily Harrison. Ashley Witt and Taylor Joens added 11 and 10, respectively. The Cougars hit .285 as a team.

Joens, who led all players with nine blocks, credited the Cougars' defense.

"I think tonight our defense was incredible so as a hitter that makes it easy for us," she said.

Joens hit .435 for the match with no errors on 23 attacks. Harrison hit .400 with just two errors in 25 attacks. Witt hit .276 with three errors in 29 attacks.

The hitters' strength was anchored by the play of the Cougar defense.

Katie Shashack led the Cougars with a season-high 21 digs. Samantha Knight added a double-double with 13 digs and 26 assists. Jackie Scott recorded 12 digs and missed a double-double by a single kill.

SIUE's defense also was strong at the net with 13 blocks, which is one shy of the season high of 14 against Fort Wayne.

The Cougars stepped up early, winning the first two sets by collecting 29 kills with just three errors. After Seattle evened play with a set three win, Joens helped put the match away with SIUE's final two kills in set four.

Katarina Glavinic led the Redhawks with 12 kills.

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