SIUE Sweeps Belmont

Jordyn Klein
Jordyn Klein

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – SIUE volleyball earned its first Ohio Valley Conference victory of the season Saturday, cruising to a 25-17, 25-18, 25-17 victory at Belmont.

SIUE recorded its most efficient match of offense for the season with a team hitting percentage of .254 led by 13 kills from Rachel McDonald and 10 from Annie Ellis.

"We are really proud of the team's composure throughout the entire match," said SIUE Head Coach Kendall Paulus. "We stayed aggressive even in tough moments."

The Cougars improved to 2-12 overall and 1-1 in OVC play. Belmont dropped to 0-14, 0-2.

SIUE's defense was equally strong with 69 digs (23 digs per set) and eight blocks. Jordyn Klein set a new career high with 21 digs against the Bruins, the most by a Cougar in a three-set match this season.

"Our serving, passing and defensive efforts were a highlight, especially our side-out percentage in set three (88 percent)," said Paulus. "That was one of our best defensive matches to date. That was a focus going into the match so we are happy with the execution."

From the opening serve, SIUE dominated. The Cougars went on an 11-2 run to start the match, pushing through two quick Belmont time outs in the opening set.

By the third set, the Cougars' offense was strengthening. SIUE finished the final set with 20 kills, including five each from McDonald and Ellis.

SIUE now returns home to the Vadalabene Center for its home OVC opener. The Cougars will take on UT Martin Friday in a 6 p.m. contest.