CARBONDALE, Ill. (8/29/17) – The Arkansas State volleyball team found itself tied with Southern Illinois 1-1 before a 25-13 set three win and rally from a 16-11 deficit in the fourth set put away the Salukis by a score of 3-1 Tuesday night at SIU Arena in Carbondale, Ill.
Carlisa May totaled a season-high 23 kills on the night on a .294 hitting percentage to pace the A-State offense and finished just one dig shy of a double-double. The Red Wolves did get a pair of double-doubles from Drew Jones (10 kills, 11 digs) and Ellie Watkins (47 assists, 11 digs) as the team improved to 2-2 on the year. Tatum Ticknor led the squad with 25 digs and had one of A-State’s four aces. The Red Wolves hit .310 for the match compared to a .208 mark by Southern Illinois (0-4).
A-State raced out to a 10-5 advantage in set three on a kill by May that forced a timeout by SIU and stretched the lead to 22-12 on a kill by Jones before settling on a 25-13 win to take a 2-1 edge. The Salukis responded by jumping out to a 15-10 lead in set four on a block before A-State clawed its way back into the set at 18-18 on a kill by Timber Terrell. Lindsay Cline gave the visitors a 23-21 advantage on a service ace to force a SIU timeout before a kill by Jessica Uke gave the Red Wolves a 25-22 set four win and 3-1 match victory.
“I thought we came out a little flat and tempered to begin the match,” A-State head volleyball coach David Rehr said. “Even in the set one win we weren’t as efficient as I’d like to see and we seemed complacent on the court, maybe even going through the motions. However, we went in for the break and came back out and really played well in set three and showed some resiliency in set four by coming back and winning the set.”
The first set was knotted at 12-12 about halfway through and both teams battled to a 19-19 tie late in the game. However, the Red Wolves went on a 6-1 run, capped by two kills from May, to win 25-20. The home team raced out to a 10-6 edge in set two and was able to stay ahead despite A-State getting within two at 24-22 late. The Red Wolves couldn’t capitalize on their momentum as a service ace gave SIU the 25-22 set victory.
Maggie Nedoma (15 kills), Kolby Meeks (14 kills), and Andrea Estrada (11 kills) paced the SIU offense, while Ashley Edelen posted 22 digs.
Arkansas State returns to action this weekend in its home tournament, the A-State Invitational Sept. 1-2. The Red Wolves will play their home opener Friday at 6:30 p.m. versus Virginia Tech. A-State closes the tournament with two matches on Saturday against SMU (11 a.m.) and Ole Miss (6:30 p.m.).