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Balanced Offense Topples Tigers

Emily Harrison
Emily Harrison

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Six SIUE volleyball players finished with six or more kills Saturday as the Cougars rolled to a 25-22, 25-17, 25-23 victory at Tennessee State.

"It was a really good team effort," said SIUE senior outside hitter Emily Harrison. "The whole team contributed to the win, and everyone played their role really well."

Harrison turned in the most efficient day among the top six hitters with a .389 hitting percentage.

"Emily had a great match," said SIUE Acting Head Coach Kendall Paulus. "She was very reliable and a go-to attacker for us today,"

Ashley Witt was the lone player for the Cougars in double figures in 10 kills.

"She had a good match blocking as well as attacking," added Paulus. Witt's three blocks tied for the team lead with Kiana Fields.

Jackie Scott recorded eight kills and tied Katie Shashack for the most digs in the match with 12. Taylor Joens recorded seven kills while Fields and Dylynn Otte added six kills each.

"The players really held their own and stepped in several rotations to help provide that balance," Paulus said.

As a team, SIUE hit .237 for the match while Tennessee State recorded a .153 hitting percentage. Tennessee State's Katora Roberts led the Tigers, now 7-21 overall and 3-13 in the Ohio Valley Conference, with 10 kills.

Paulus also was able to get freshmen Rachel McDonald and Gabby Wimes some playing time.

"We needed to get a little rhythm back," said Paulus. "Both of them were able to jump in and provide some stability as we got the momentum back on our court."

SIUE, which has guaranteed its spot in the OVC coming up in two weeks, now has a 21-5 record and an 11-3 mark in OVC play. SIUE has two road matches left in the regular season. The Cougars travel to UT Martin for a 6:30 p.m. match Friday and Southeast Missouri for a 6:30 p.m. match Saturday.

"We're going to have to do everything we can in these next two weeks to prepare for whatever happens in that tournament," said Harrison. "Every little detail and every point really matters so we're trying to focus on the little details in practice now."

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