Volleyball gets first win over SIU Carbondale in five years
Southeast volleyball beat Southern Illinois University-Carbondale for the first time in five years on Tuesday, Sept. 4, by scores of 25-13, 25-19 and 25-19 on Houck “Filled” House night.
This win comes after the team suffered back-to-back losses in the Redhawk Invitational at the hands of Radford and Northwestern State.
Southeast (6-2) has swept their opponents in every match it has won this season. Freshman setter Claire Ochs has been instrumental in running such a high powered offense.
“If you have a well-balanced offense, you will win matches,” Southeast coach Julie Yankus said. “Claire ran a fabulous offense today, and we got our hitters involved every single hit. The fact that she has been able to run our offense and had that leadership and that ability as a freshman—she is fearless.”
Ochs paced the team with 29 assists, but a lot of the team’s success came from the frontcourt, Yankus said.
“We’re definitely a good blocking team,” Yankus said. “That’s definitely something that everybody that we play against is going to be preparing for. If we’re in the system, any of our attackers can be a threat. I think the difference today was we really could involve every single attacker, and they couldn’t stop just one attacker.”
Junior middle blocker Krista Berns led the team with a season-high eight kills on a .438 hitting percentage.
She attributed a lot of the team’s success to the energy in the building.
“I feel like the energy was definitely a big part of it,” Berns said. “Even if we mess up, we’re never quiet, because the gym is always loud.”
Yankus agreed, saying the crowd definitely provided a home-court advantage.
“I think we fed off the crowd; it was amazing,” Yankus said. “We went off to that 8-1 start in the first set, we didn’t shy away from the big crowd. I think that really put a damper on SIU, they really just couldn’t figure out how to play in that environment.”
Yankus noted the team’s balance on offense, with six players contributing six or more kills. Sophomore middle blocker Maggie Adams had a career-high six kills in the match.
“Ultimately, our identity is that we are going to be a selfless group of motivated young energetic women,” Yankus said. “If you watch our bench, they are fired up, and that gets everybody ready.”
Sophomore Maggie Nedoma had a match-high 10 kills for SIU (3-4).
The Redhawks next match will be against Arkansas State on Friday, Sept. 8, in Kansas City, Missouri, as part of the Kangaroo Classic. They will play Providence and host University of Missouri-Kansas City on Saturday, Sept. 9.