OXFORD, Miss. – Seniors Jackie Scott, Ashley Witt and Taylor Joens each had double-digit kills Wednesday, but SIUE volleyball fell in the opening round of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship to Arkansas State in four sets.
SIUE completed the season with a 23-7 record as Head Coach Kendall Paulus set the school record for most wins by a first-year head coach. The Redwolves bested the Cougars 25-21, 28-30, 29-27, 27-25.
The senior trio combined for 44 of SIUE's 68 kills at the Gillom Center. Scott was tops with 17 followed by 15 from Witt and 12 from Joens.
"I think they were happy to end on a really competitive note," said Paulus. "Everyone played well together. We had the momentum, but a few things late didn't go our way."
Paulus said she was pleased with SIUE being able to play at a high level in its first NCAA Division I national postseason tournament.
"I think it meant a lot to this team to get into this tournament and get to showcase what this team has worked for all season," said Paulus.
SIUE recorded more kills (68-52) than Arkansas State, which improved to 21-11. SIUE also finished with a better hitting percentage than its opponents (.164-.140)
Carlisa May led the Redwolves, representing the Sun Belt Conference, with 20 kills. Kenzie Fields added 10.
"All of the players were just going for it," said Paulus. "It was a high-level, aggressive match."
Defense stepped up on both sides of the net.
Joens was one of six SIUE players with at least two blocks. She had seven overall while the team finished with 13 overall.
ASU's Jessica Uke led all players with nine. The Redwolves had 16 blocks total.
Four SIUE players were in double figures with digs led by 16 from senior libero Katie Shashack. Tatum Ticknor provided a game-high 18 digs for Arkansas State.