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Cougars Close out SLU Tourney With a Victory

Cougars Close out SLU Tourney With a Victory

Sept. 19, 2009

UC Davis Box Score
Toledo Box Score

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Sydney Winslow led four Southern Illinois University Edwardsville players in double-digit kills Saturday as the Cougars closed out the Saint Louis University Tournament with a five-set victory over Toledo.

The Cougars handed Toledo its third straight defeat at the tournament with a 25-18, 25-19, 21-25, 21-25, 15-13 score. SIUE gained its first victory of the season and is now 1-14. Toledo fell to 9-3.

SIUE dropped its first match of the day, a three-set loss to UC Davis 25-11, 25-22, 25-19. Brianne Graunke and Winslow led the Cougars with seven kills each.

Winslow, who was named to the All-Tournament team, recorded a team-leading 14 kills against Toledo followed by 13 each from Jessica Hemann and Karie Downing. Noelle Franke also recorded a season-high 10 kills.

The Cougars finished with nine blocks in the Toledo match, including a career-high eight from Brittni Birkey.

SIUE coach Todd Gober said there were a number of keys to winning the match against a good team that is having a good season.

"I'm happy to see the balance in the offense, and that's a credit to Sammi (Minton)," said Gober.

Minton finished with 49 assists as the Cougars recorded double-digit kills in each of the five sets.

SIUE controlled the momentum early as the Cougars used four kills in set one from Franke. The Cougars hit .267 in the first set.

"We came out of the locker room on fire. We came out hungry and aggressive. We had some attitude tonight. It was fun to see," Gober said.

The Cougars continued to pressure the Rockets with a .357 hitting percentage in set two. SIUE won the first two sets of a match for the first time this season.

The momentum, however, switched to Rockets' favor in sets three and four. The Rockets, who ended the match with 59 kills, posted 15 kills in both set three and set four.

Toledo's Stephanie Kersting led all players with 21 kills, including six in the third set.

SIUE halted Toledo's momentum in set five by winning the first five points behind two kills from Downing, a kill from Winslow and two Toledo attack errors.

Gober said moving Downing from middle hitter to start the season to outside hitter has been worth the wait.

"Karie is really starting to settle in as an outside hitter," he said.

SIUE will now play its first home match of the season Wednesday. The Cougars play host to Evansville in a 6 p.m. match. The event will take play in the new addition to the SIUE Student Fitness Center.

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