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Cougars Earn No. 5 Seed for OVC Tournament

SIUE senior Sami Knight
SIUE senior Sami Knight

OVC Tournament Bracket

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE volleyball gave setter Sami Knight a great sendoff in every way on Senior Day except for the Cougar victory.

"I just want to say thank you to my coaches, my teammate, all of my teammates over the years," said Knight.

"Sami is such a talented athlete and a high IQ," said SIUE Head Coach Kendall Paulus. "She is someone personally I feel I can talk with about the game with."

Knight completed her final match at the Vadalabene Center with a team-leading 24 assists and 15 digs.

The Cougars dropped the regular season finale to Murray State 15-25, 25-18, 25-15, 25-20. SIUE completed the regular season with an 8-8 record in Ohio Valley Conference play and a 9-19 mark overall.

"We had a great crowd tonight," said Paulus. "We battled back after last night."

SIUE has earned the No. 5 seed for the OVC Tournament, which begins Thursday at Austin Peay. The Cougars will play Jacksonville State at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN3.

"We're excited to go," said Paulus. "We know anything can happen when we get there. I think we're going to feel good going into the tournament."

The Cougar collected more kills than Murray State (54-48) Saturday after dominated the Racers in set one. Murray State ran its winning streak to an OVC-leading 13 matches behind 14 kills from Dacia Brown and 13 from Rachel Giustino.

Hope Everett paced the Cougars with 14 kills. Rachel McDonald added 12.

2018 OVC Volleyball Championship Schedule 

First Round – November 15
Match 1 – No. 3 Morehead State vs. No. 6 Southeast Missouri – 11 a.m. (ESPN3)
Match 2 – No. 2 Murray State vs. No. 7 UT Martin  – 1:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
Match 3 – No. 4 Jacksonville State vs. No. 5 SIUE – 4:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
Match 4 – No. 1 Austin Peay vs. No. 8 Tennessee State  - 7 p.m. (ESPN3) 

Semifinals – November 16
Match 5 – Match 1 winner vs. Match 2 winner – 2:30 p.m.  (ESPN+)
Match 6 – Match 3 winner vs. Match 4 winner – 5 p.m.  (ESPN+) 

Championship – November 17
Match 7 – Match 5 winner vs. Match 6 winner – 12 p.m.  (ESPN+)

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November 9, 2018 Governors Down Cougars
Gamecocks Thwart SIUE
October 13, 2018 Gamecocks Thwart SIUE
Murray State Upends Cougars
October 5, 2018 Murray State Upends Cougars
Cougars Down SEMO in Four Sets
September 29, 2018 Cougars Down SEMO in Four Sets
Cougars Win OVC Home Opener
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SIUE Sweeps Belmont
September 22, 2018 SIUE Sweeps Belmont
EIU Tops Cougars
September 19, 2018 EIU Tops Cougars
NKU Downs SIUE
September 14, 2018 NKU Downs SIUE
Providence, UMKC Down Cougars
September 7, 2018 Providence, UMKC Down Cougars
Cougars Open IUPUI Tourney
August 31, 2018 Cougars Open IUPUI Tourney
Cougars Drop Season Opener
August 24, 2018 Cougars Drop Season Opener