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SIUE Volleyball Downs Eastern Kentucky

Mallory Nicholson sets to Hope Everett
Mallory Nicholson sets to Hope Everett

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE volleyball moved back to the .500 level in Ohio Valley Conference play Saturday with a 25-17, 25-17, 25-27, 25-20 victory over Eastern Kentucky at the Vadalabene Center.

The Cougars remained consistent on offense throughout the match and held EKU to just a .049 hitting percentage for the match.

"We had more errors than we would have liked," said SIUE Head Coach Kendall Paulus. "That just showed how much EKU made us work for it."

SIUE's serving and defense, once again, was a bright spot. Rachel McDonald and Jordyn Klein each had 19 digs for the Cougars. Klein and Mallory Nicholson each had a pair of service aces.

"Serving is something we take a lot of pride in and we are very confident in," said Paulus. "That absolutely helped us get the win."

Hope Everett led the SIUE offense with 12 kills followed by nine from McDonald and eight from Kiana Fields.

"We talked a lot about middle transition," said Paulus. "It was working, and we kept pushing it."

Fields said she has gained confidence as the season has progressed.

"I know that my team looks to upperclassmen so that's the role I have to fulfill," she added.

The Cougars grabbed commanding leads in each of the first two sets, taking advantage of EKU errors. The Colonels, 3-19 overall and 2-8 in OVC play, fought back with a come-from-behind win in set three only to have the Cougars use a 7-1 run late the fourth set behind the serving of Grace Hurst and Field.

SIUE, now 6-16 overall, returns to the Vadalabene Center for two matches this upcoming week. The Cougars entertain Eastern Illinois in a 6 p.m. match Wednesday followed by Tennessee State in a 2 p.m. contest Saturday.

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