SIUE Wins Cougar Invite

Emily Harrison
Emily Harrison

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE volleyball won the Cougar Invite Presented by DoubleTree Hotels with a pair of victories Saturday over Montana and UIC.

The Cougars improved to 10-2 and now have a five-match winning streak after defeating Montana 29-31, 25-22, 25-10, 25-17 and UIC 25-17, 25-20, 25-19. Montana fell to 5-8 overall, and UIC dropped to 9-4.

That completes the nonconference schedule for the Cougars. The Ohio Valley Conference season begins next weekend as SIUE takes to the road for its first three league contests. SIUE's first OVC opponent is Austin Peay next Friday.

On Saturday, SIUE's Taylor Joens and Emily Harrison were named to the Cougar Invite All-Tournament team.

Joens added Most Valuable Player honors to her list of awards. The reigning OVC Player of the Week recorded 37 kills and just one error on 67 attacks for a .537 hitting percentage. The Cougar senior added a strong 1.55 blocks and 1.55 digs per set.

"She had a great week of practice so we were expecting her to have a great weekend, but to hit .537 is incredible," said SIUE Acting Head Coach Kendall Paulus. "She is so smart and sees the court so well."

Harrison also put up some outstanding offensive numbers. The senior outside hitter was second on the team for the weekend with 34 kills and a .368 hitting percentage.

"Emily did a really good job of seeing the block so her shot selection was fantastic," said Paulus. "She really moved the ball around well."

SIUE proved strong in every area of the court, hitting .271 for the weekend as a team with 14.36 kills, 1.55 services aces, 2.55 blocks and 18.27 digs per set.

"All in all, it was our passing that was the key," said SIUE middle blocker Kiana Fields.

The Cougars gave up just one set on the day and that was a 31-29 nailbiter in set one against Montana.

SIUE has now won two tournaments this season, which is the first time that has occurred for the Cougars in the Division I era.

All-Tournament Team
MVP – Taylor Joens, SIUE
Emily Harrison, SIUE
Kyisha Hunt, UIC
Maja Stojanovic, Seattle
Mykaela Hammer, Montana 

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