Davies Crazies will be going wild Friday when the Southern Illinois Salukis look to bounce back after their first Missouri Valley Conference loss with the Indiana State Sycamores rolling into Carbondale.
Coming off one of the best seasons is school history with their first NCAA tournament appearance, the Southern Illinois Volleyball team, (13-6 4-1 MVC,) is off to a hot start to the 2016 campaign. Riding the success of last year’s season is made much easier when successful role players return to your lineup.
Senior Andrea Estrada is crushing the ball with a team high 197 kills and Junior Abby Barrow is stepping up as the team’s second hitter with 173 kills.
On the defensive side, Senior Mariana Pilon has been consistent, leading the Salukis with 242 digs. Junior Alex Rosignol has been great at the net with 81 blocks so far, averaging 1.23 per set, almost half the teams’ total of 2.6. Rosignol’s play hasn’t gone unrecognized as she currently sits at 53rd in the nation in blocks per set.
This team is all about high energy and intimidation throughout the game. This is seen particularly well when the Salukis are playing at home in Davies Gym.
The Salukis are still undefeated at home with a 5-0 record and the fans are to thank for the extra energy. Head coach Justin Ingram sees a different side to the noise.
“As much as it’s an advantage for us, it’s really challenging to hear. But were used to it, we do it here more often than opponents so that’s where we have the advantage,” Ingram said.
Indiana State will have a hard time beating the Salukis on Friday. The Sycamores are coming in at 7-9 with a 1-4 road record, and are sitting at eighth place in the Missouri Valley standings.
The Sycamores are led by Senior Kynedi Nalls with 224 kills on the season. Nalls, an opposite hitter, sees about 50% of her teams sets and uses the slide approach to her advantage.
Justin Ingram said she will be the Salukis biggest threat to a victory. “We need to make sure we contain her and keep her below her averages. We can do that by serving aggressively and attacking hard to keep them on their toes.”
Defensively Indiana State thrives off the performance of Senior Shannon Murphy who has 254 digs, over 100 more than anyone else on the team.
As long as the Salukis can keep their errors down and energy high they should make quick work of the Sycamores.
The game will take place Friday October 7th at Davies Gym in Carbondale, Il at 7:00pm. Tickets can be bought from SIUSalukis.com or at Davies the day of the game. The game will also be streamed online on ESPN3.