CHARLESTON, Ill. – SIUE volleyball won its first Ohio Valley Conference match of the season with a four-set road victory at Eastern Illinois.
The Cougars improved to 11-4 overall and 1-2 in the OVC with a 25-19, 18-25, 25-19, 25-13 triumph at Lantz Arena. Eastern Illinois dropped to 6-9 overall and 0-3 in the OVC.
Taylor Joens turned in another strong offensive effort for SIUE. The Cougar middle blocker finished with 16 kills and no errors on 30 attacks for a .533 hitting percentage.
"Her court IQ is great," said SIUE Acting Head Coach Kendall Paulus. "She had a double block early but still was able to score. Credit goes to the setters for putting in a good position as well."
"I thought our setters played well tonight," said Scott. "I also told Mallory after the match that I thought it was one of her best games. Her connections were awesome. She was making great choices and setting up a lot of one on ones."
Ashley Witt would collect her 1,000th career kill during the match. She becomes the 10th player in school history to pass that mark.
SIUE's 58 kills were linked to good passing, according to Paulus.
"We took care of the ball when we had the opportunity," said Paulus.
Libero Katie Shashack led the Cougars with 21 digs. Nine of those digs turned into kills for the Cougar offense.
Eastern Illinois hit .201 as a team, led by 13 kills from Laurel Bailey.
The two teams were deadlocked at one set apiece before SIUE took control of the match. SIUE's offense became more efficient after dropping the second set. The Cougars hit .355 as a team in the third set and took it up a couple of notches in a lopsided fourth set by hitting .471. Five different SIUE players had three kills in the decisive set.
"Our bench gave us a lot of energy," said Scott. "Our bench really carried us, especially through that second set. They made sure we were ready to go for the third set."
SIUE, which has won three straight meetings against Eastern Illinois, now looks forward to Saturday's home OVC opener. The Cougars entertain Belmont for a 2 p.m. match at the Vadalabene Center.