Eagles Outsoared In Four-Set Loss To Redhawks


Eagles Outsoared In Four-Set Loss To Redhawks

USI Falls To SEMO, 3-1


EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Volleyball (1-19, 1-8 OVC) ended the weekend with a 3-1 (20-25, 25-23, 22-25, 11-25) loss to Southeast Missouri State University (11-10, 6-3) at Screaming Eagles Arena Saturday afternoon. The Screaming Eagles produced solid numbers despite the loss, nabbing 40 or more kills and 30 or more assists for the second straight match.

USI fell in the opening set to SEMO, 25-20. The first frame kicked off with a 6-2 Redhawks lead before sophomore middle blocker Lauren O’Neill (Covington, Indiana) stopped the run with a kill. SEMO returned the favor, adding five of the next seven points to make it 11-5. Down by seven, the Eagles tallied three straight kills from three different players to cut the deficit. After the media timeout, USI came out firing with a 3-0 run to make it 15-13. With a 19-15 Redhawks advantage, the Eagles went on another short spurt to pull within one. After a strategic timeout from SEMO, the Redhawks stormed ahead and score six of the final eight points to win the opening set. Both sides produced positive offensive numbers as USI added 11 kills with a .118 hitting percentage while SEMO had 14 kills and a .235 hitting percentage.

A late run from the Eagles lifted USI to a 25-23 victory in the second set. The frame started with a close battle between the two programs to force a 9-9 tie. SEMO was able to capitalize on offense, forcing three kills to nab a 13-10 lead. The Eagles did not back down, tallying back-to-back kills from sophomore outside/right side hitter Abby Bednar (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) and junior outside/right side hitter/setter Katherine Koch (Belleville, Illinois) to help tie the match at 13. Not too long after the surge from USI, SEMO went on a 4-0 stint that extended their lead to 18-14. After a key timeout from head coach Randi Raff, the Eagles came out fighting by scoring six of the next eight points to tie the set at 20. Sparking the crucial run was freshman libero/defensive specialist Keira Moore (Newburgh, Indiana) who recorded her first ace of the match. With the set tied at 23, USI won the frame thanks to a pair of kills from Bednar and junior outside hitter Leah Anderson (Bloomington, Illinois) to give the Eagles their first set win in eight straight frames. USI put up a set-high 16 kills while hitting a solid .256 in the second set.

It was all SEMO in the third frame as the Redhawks won 25-22. The set began with an 8-3 lead for SEMO after four Redhawks’ kills before Koch stopped the bleeding with a kill. With an 11-7 deficit, USI earned back-to-back kills from Bednar and sophomore middle hitter Paris Downing (Avon, Indiana) to stay in the fight. A 5-0 run by SEMO provided some insurance and gave the Redhawks a 19-12 advantage. Down 21-15, the Eagles recovered a lot of ground by earning seven of the final 11 points, but to no avail, as SEMO seals the victory. The Redhawks’ offense totaled a match-high 17 kills and two aces while USI provided 13 kills and an ace of their own.

An early deficit proved to be costly for USI as SEMO controlled a 25-11 final set victory. The Redhawks led 6-1 to start the frame before a trio of kills from the Eagles stopped the stint and put USI within four. Another 5-0 surge from SEMO gave the Redhawks an even larger lead, 14-5. After a service ace from SEMO, the Eagles gained some momentum by capturing three straight points off two kills and an ace from sophomore defensive specialist/outside hitter Anna Ballengee (Montgomery, Indiana). The Redhawks were unphased, scoring eight of the last 10 points to secure their third-straight match win as the Eagles drop their fifth straight.

Anderson tallied a double-double with 14 kills and 13 digs, both team-highs. Sophomore setter Carly Sobieralski (Indianapolis, Indiana) scored a match-high 27 assists while Koch and O’Neill earned two blocks each. Sophomore outside hitter Abby Weber (Fishers, Indiana), freshman setter Jordan Troutman (Henderson, Kentucky), and Ballengee each recorded one ace.

USI ended the match with 49 kills, 46 assists, and four aces along with 69 digs and three blocks. SEMO finished with 54 kills, 50 assists, and six aces to go along with 71 digs and seven blocks.

The Eagles travel to Little Rock, Arkansas for the first time in program history to face the University of Arkansas Little Rock next Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m. Both matches will be live on ESPN+.