SIUE Defeats UT Martin in Four Sets

Point Cougars
Point Cougars

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE volleyball won its sixth straight home match Friday, downing visiting UT Martin 25-19, 19-25, 25-23, 25-20 at the Vadalabene Center.

The Cougars improved to 13-4 overall and 3-2 in the Ohio Valley Conference. UT Martin, also 3-2 in OVC play, dropped to 9-9 overall.

"We had some really long rallies in there and some good volleyball," said Acting Head Coach Kendall Paulus.

Ashley Witt led the team in kills with 11 followed by 10 each from Jackie Scott and Taylor Joens. Joens hit a team-best .529 with no errors on 19 attacks.

SIUE came out on fire in the first set with 17 kills and a .429 hitting percentage. UT Martin charged back in set two with Megan Fair collecting seven of her 13 kills.

The Cougar came up big late in the third set. Despite 11 tie scores and three lead changes, kills by Emily Harrison and Kiana Fields put the set away for the Cougars.

The Cougars finished the match with 10 blocks, including six from Fields.

"Our block was certainly better in the third and fourth set," said Paulus. SIUE had four blocks in each of the final two sets.

Once again, the fourth set was close with six ties and four lead changes. SIUE went ahead for good at 11-10 with a kill by Joens. The Cougars closed out the match by winning the final three points on a kill by Harrison, a kill by Dylynn Otte and a service ace for the match by Mallory Nicholson.

UT Martin finished with 58 kills and 29 attack errors for a .186 hitting percentage. Jemima Idemudia sparked the Skyhawks with 14 kills and a .312 hitting percentage. Hannah Phillips added 10 kills for UT Martin.

SIUE had 55 kills but just 21 attack errors for a .221 hitting percentage.

"I was happy to see us hit .221 against a really good blocking team," said Paulus.

The Cougars return to the court Saturday for a 2 p.m. match against Southeast Missouri. Eastern Illinois swept Southeast Missouri (6-13, 1-4) Friday night in Charleston, Illinois.

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