Lead slips away as Eagles fall to Saints in five sets


University of Southern Indiana Volleyball saw a two-set lead slip away as it lost its Great Lakes Valley Conference opener to host Maryville University 25-19, 25-12, 25-27, 16-25, 13-25 Thursday night.

USI (2-7, 0-1 GLVC) rallied from an early 5-0 deficit to forge a match-point opportunity in the third frame, but the Saints scored three straight points to steal the set and cut the Screaming Eagles’ match lead in half.

Maryville (1-8, 1-0 GLVC) hit .357 in the fourth frame and held the Eagles to just nine kills and a .000 attacking percentage to earn the nine-point win and even the match at two sets apiece. USI fell behind 6-3 early and could not draw even with the Saints throughout the entirety of the frame.

In the decisive fifth stanza, the Eagles overcame an early 7-3 deficit to gain leads of 10-9 and 11-10. Maryville, however, won four straight rallies to gain their first match-point opportunity. USI fought off match point twice, but a third time was not in the cards as the Saints dealt USI its third straight loss.

Prior to the intermission, it was all USI as the Eagles held the Saints to a combined .072 attacking percentage to earn a six-point win and a 13-point victory. Sophomore outside hitter Mikaila Humphrey (Floyd Knobs, Indiana) had seven of her match-high 19 kills in the first two sets, while senior libero Shannon Farrell (Munster, Indiana) added eight of her match-high 21 digs in the first two stanzas.

Farrell surpassed former USI standout Amanda Probst for second on USI’s all-time digs list. She needs just two digs to become the second player in program history to reach 1,500 career digs.

Junior setter Erika Peoples (Bloomington, Illinois) added 32 assists and 10 digs, while freshman outside hitter Alyssa Yochum (Columbia, Illinois) chipped in nine kills.

The Eagles return to action Saturday at 3 p.m. when they host Missouri S&T in a GLVC match at the Physical Activities Center. The Miners (4-6, 0-1 GLVC) suffered a five-set loss to visiting Drury University Thursday night in Rolla, Missouri.