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Cougars Fall to IUPUI, Western Michigan

Annie Ellis
Annie Ellis

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – SIUE volleyball's Rachel McDonald earned All-Tournament honors at the IUPUI Hampton Inn Invitational.

SIUE closed out the tournament with a pair of losses, falling to host IUPUI 25-19, 25-19, 25-23 and Western Michigan 25-18, 22-25, 25-13, 25-22.

McDonald was a bright spot for the Cougars, hitting .218 for the weekend. The Cougars' outside hitter also led the team with 30 kills in the three matches.

"Her hitting efficiency speaks for itself," said SIUE Head Coach Kendall Paulus. "She did a good job moving the ball around. She is just a super steady passer for us as well."

Middle blocker Hope Everett was a top hitter in the front row with a .312 hitting percentage and 29 kills.

"Hope did well in back to back weekends," said Paulus. "She was an All-Tournament-type selection. Her blocking is getting better for each match."

Paulus also noted the play of libero Jordyn Klein.

"She had much better reads and positioned herself well against their better attackers," Paulus said.

SIUE's final set against Western Michigan was nearly a comeback. SIUE was down 16-10 in the set only to tie the set 20-20. WMU won five of the last seven points in the set.

"We really fought back in the fourth set," said Paulus.

The Cougars' head coach said her team's communication continued to grow.

"All day there has been communication at a high rate. They were sharing information well," she added. "Our sideline also was hyped all day. That was an area that our team expressed a need for ownership."

SIUE, 0-6, next heads to Kansas City, Missouri, for the Kangaroo Klassic. The Cougars face Providence, UMKC and Arkansas State next Friday and Saturday.

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