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SIUE Rolls Past SEMO for First OVC Victory

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - SIUE volleyball pounded out 48 kills Saturday in a three-set victory over SEMO at the Vadalabene Center to win their first Ohio Valley Conference match.

The Cougars evened their OVC record at 1-1 and improved to 6-7 overall with the 25-22, 25-19, 25-15 win over the Redhawks. SEMO dropped to 3-10 overall and 1-1 in the OVC.

"Obviously, it was a great team effort from the first contact to the last," SIUE Head Coach Leah Johnson said.

Kelsey Augustine and Brianne Graunke powered the Cougar offense with 12 kills each. Julia Whitfield added 10.

"Once we finally made that `two' pass and used it to set our right-side and middle, they started taking over the match."

The Cougars, which hit .246 for the match, were progressively better as the match went on. SIUE turned in 21 of its digs into kills during the match, including seven from libero Chelsea Colclasure. The Cougar freshman led the team in digs with 20.

"It was a great effort defensively. Good anticipation, good preparation, I was pleased with our overall performance," Johnson said.

The Cougar head coach said her team promised and delivered by "bringing it" to the Redhawks.

"I felt good about today after our locker room talk (after last night's match). We do things consistently as possible so post-match we discussed what we needed to improve and how we can change that," said Johnson.

Southeast Missouri finished with 34 kills overall and a .130 hitting percentage. Colleen Yarber came off the bench to lead the Redhawks with eight kills.

"We were really pleased with how consistent they were and how much energy the team brought," Johnson added.

The Cougars now have only a few days to prepare for its next OVC match. SIUE takes to the road for rival Eastern Illinois for a 6 p.m. match Tuesday in Charleston.

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