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Murray State Outlasts Cougars

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - Murray State rallied from two sets down Thursday to defeat Southern Illinois University Edwardsville volleyball 27-29, 17-25, 25-21, 25-22, 15-8 at the Vadalabene Center.

SIUE dropped its record to 12-12 while Murray State improved to 12-13.

"We played hard and I think we played well enough to win," said SIUE Head Coach Todd Gober.

Thursday's match was all about momentum as SIUE carried it for the first half of the match and the Racers gained control near the end of the third set.

SIUE edged Murray State 29-27 in the first set as Sydney Winslow lifted the Cougars with seven of her match-high 20 kills. Winslow hit .412 for the match.

"Sydney had a great match, and I wish we could have used her more," said Gober.

The Cougars kept the momentum going in the second set by grabbing a 13-5 behind some strong serving. SIUE recorded four services aces, including two from Julia Whitfield, in the second set.

Murray State fought back in set three by cutting back on its attack errors and garnering 16 kills.

Murray State's defense overcame 11 SIUE service aces in the match. The Racers defense finished with four players in double figures digs. Murray State libero Kayleah Sauer led all players with 22 digs.

"They made a couple nice adjustments and started passing better," said Gober.

SIUE's defense was led by libero Karie Downing, who recorded 21 digs.

SIUE now heads to the road for its final five matches of the season. The first trip is to Ohio Valley Conference rivals Morehead State and Eastern Kentucky next weekend.

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