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Cougars Battle Through Final Two Matches of Cougar Classic

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.— The Cougars battled in their final two matches of the Cougar Classic, but fell short to Presbyterian College, 3-1 and Purdue-Fort Wayne, 3-2.

The Cougars fell to the Blue Hose of Presbyterian College 25-19, 25-19, 25-27 and 25-23 after battling back to win the third set.

The team battled back to keep the match alive after winning the third set. The team was able to fight back despite being down 7-1 in the set. The team hit .292 in the third set and saw multiple kills from Rachel McDonald, Hope Everett and Annie Ellis. The team was also to gain momentum off the three-team blocks they recorded in this set.

Despite having an early lead in the fourth set, the Cougars fell short 25-23 after hitting .256 in the set.

Leading the way for the Cougars was McDonald who recorded her second double double in the Cougar Classic. She had 15 kills and 11 digs in the first match alone. Other contributors include Everett with nine kills, Ellis with eight kills and Bagley with seven kills.

Defensively for the Cougars, Ellis had four blocks and Kiana Fields added 3. Jordyn Klein also assisted on the defensive side by recording 23 digs in the match.

Mallory Nicholson and Sarah Armendariz kept the offensive flow going by contributing a combined 49 assists.

The Cougars fell short to the Mastodons of Purdue-Fort Wayne 25-18, 25-23, 23-25, 18-25 and 9-15.

The Cougars once again for the second game of the day battled back after being down two sets.

McDonald and Armendariz both recorded double-doubles against the Mastodons. McDonald ended the game with 12 kills, 16 digs and two aces. Armendariz recorded 18 assists, 12 digs and two aces.

Others contributing to the battle include Fields added 10 kills and hit .455, Gabby Wimes also had 10 kills and hit .259 and Jordyn Klein tallied 20 digs.

"We talked a lot about not letting a ball hit the floor and having better floor defense," commented Head Volleyball Coach Kendall Paulus. "It has been a strength for us and it is nice to it flowing again. "We had great rhythm at times but just could not finish. I am proud of Hannah and how she was able to come and give us quality swings."

Kiana Fields was recognized for her efforts over the weekend by making the Cougar Classic All-Tournament Team. Fields hit .258 on the weekend, recorded 21 kills and was a defensive threat for the Cougars by contributing 13 blocks.

The Cougars will open up OVC play at home on Friday against Austin Peay with first serve set for 6 p.m.

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