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Grace Hurst
Grace Hurst

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE volleyball opened the Cougar Classic Friday night at the Vadalabene Center but dropped the season's first home match to Northern Kentucky.

NKU improved to 7-3 with its second win of the day, previously defeating Louisiana Tech in three sets. NKU defeated SIUE  25-16, 27-25, 25-14.

"Our middles were a highlight," said SIUE Head Coach Kendall Paulus. "They had good hitting percentage and were scoring. We wanted to keep feeding them the ball but it wasn't happening."

Hope Everett recorded a .462 hitting percentage in her homecourt debut with six kills on 13 attempts while adding a match-high seven blocks. Annie Ellis added four kills and a .214 hitting percentage.

Two players who also had their home debut led the team in statistical categories. Rachel McDonald topped SIUE with nine kills. Grace Hurst powered the defense with a team-leading 17 digs and added a pair of service aces.

Northern Kentucky's Anna Brinkmann paced the Norse with 15 kills. NKU hit .217 as a team.

The Cougars, 0-10, will have a quick turn-around with two matches Saturday. SIUE faces off against Louisiana Tech at 11 a.m. and completes the tournament with a 6 p.m. match against Oral Roberts.

"We need to worry about some things on our side of the net," added Paulus.

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