Anderson reaches historic milestone in three-set loss USI falls to Little Rock, 3-0


EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Junior outside hitter Leah Anderson (Bloomington, Illinois) earned her 1,000th career dig Friday night at Jack Stephens Center to become the 13th player in program history to reach the feat. She also joins an elite club after earning 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in her tenure as a Screaming Eagle, becoming just the fifth player to make the list. Despite Anderson’s accomplishments, University of Southern Indiana Volleyball (1-20, 1-9 OVC) was edged out in a 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-18) loss to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (6-18, 3-8 OVC).
The opening frame was all Little Rock as USI falls, 25-18. The Trojans started with an early 6-0 run before a kill from Anderson stopped the bleeding. Little Rock doubled up USI with a 10-5 lead before sophomore middle blocker Lauren O’Neill (Covington, Indiana) tallied back-to-back kills to cut the deficit. The Eagles were able to shorten the gap even more after a block from O’Neill and Anderson made it 14-12. Despite an admirable comeback, USI watched Little Rock storm away with the lead, scoring 11 of the final 17 points to earn the first-set win. The Eagles recorded 11 kills, 14 digs, and four blocks in the opening frame.
Anderson was able to capture her 1,000th dig despite USI dropping in the second set, 25-20. The Eagles earned their first lead of the match after Anderson and sophomore middle hitter Paris Downing (Avon, Indiana) threw down a block to make it 2-1. USI extended their lead after a pair of Anderson kills made it 6-3 before Little Rock pushed back and tied the set at eight apiece. After a back-and-forth battle between the two sides, the set stood at an 18-18 tie before the Trojans went on a 7-2 run to seal the Eagles’ fate and take a 2-0 match lead. USI put up another double-digit kill and dig total with 10 kills and 14 digs.
USI could not get things rolling in the third frame as Little Rock strolled to a 25-18 victory. Sophomore outside hitter Abby Weber (Fishers, Indiana) threw down a kill to earn the first point for the Eagles. Both teams were tied at nine apiece before the Trojans went on a 4-0 surge that made it 13-9. USI was able to cut the deficit to three before Little Rock went on a short 3-0 stint that resulted in a 19-13 lead that the Eagles could not recover from and ended with a Trojans’ victory. USI nabbed 14 kills in the third set, the most earned in the match for the Eagles.
Anderson recorded her ninth double-double this season after posting a match-high 17 kills and a team-high 12 digs along with an ace and four blocks. She was the lone Eagle to earn double-digit kills and digs. Leading the passing game was junior outside/right side hitter/setter Katherine Koch (Belleville, Illinois) who ended the night with 13 assists. Downing earned a team-high five blocks while junior libero/defensive specialist Audrey Crowder (Avon, Indiana) contributed with one ace.
The Eagles ended the match with 35 kills, 32 assists, and two aces while providing 36 digs and seven blocks. The Trojans tallied 45 kills, 45 assists, and four aces with 44 digs and eight blocks.