EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE pushed its season record to 5-1, completing the Cougar Classic Presented by DoubleTree Hotels Saturday with a three-set sweep of UMKC.
The Cougars defeated the Kangaroos 25-15, 25-19, 25-21. Earlier in the day, SIUE suffered its first loss of the season, falling to tournament champion Tulsa 25-17, 25-19, 25-19.
"We were able to make adjustments better tonight," said SIUE senior libero Katie Shashack. "I had a lot of options with our passers. (Setters) Samantha Knight and Mallory Nicholson were both putting up great balls, spreading the offense nicely, so it made us look better."
SIUE Associate Head Coach Luke Young said SIUE's three-set win Saturday evening shows the maturity this team has.
"We had a lot of confidence in the things we did this morning, but what it ultimately came back to is doing the things that we know we do well," he said.
The Cougars opened the match with a side-out percentage of 87 percent in the first set. Young credited the defensive core led by Shashack.
"Katie Shashack did a good job of making adjustments and prioritizing who she wanted on each pass," said Young.
SIUE hit .272 for the match against UMKC while the Kangaroos hit just .155 as a team.
Alicia Harrington and Alex Ratzlaff were the team leaders in kills for UMKC with nine each.
SIUE now heads back to the road for the Scenic City Showdown in Chattanooga, Tennessee, next Friday and Saturday. The Cougars face host Chattanooga as well as Georgia State and Jackson State in the two-day tournament.
"We are ready to refocus," said Shashack. "We are off to a great start but we're not going to get comfortable we were ready to go get some wins this weekend."
MVP – Toledo #2 Emily Thorson
Toledo #1 Taylor Horsfall
SIUE #14 Emily Harrison
Wright State #12 Katie Klusman
UMKC #13 Mykal Sadler