Slow starts sink USI Volleyball at Lewis

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ROMEOVILLE, Ill.—University of Southern Indiana Volleyball could not overcome a trifecta of slow starts as it suffered a 25-11, 23-25, 25-13, 25-15 Great Lakes Valley Conference setback to No. 14 Lewis University Saturday afternoon at Neil Carey Arena.

The host Flyers (9-3, 4-0 GLVC) jumped out to a 12-3 lead in the opening set and a 6-1 advantage in the third frame to put the Screaming Eagles in a hole. Lewis hit .483 in the opening set, while holding USI to a .000 attacking clip en route to a 14-point win.

USI (7-4, 1-2 GLVC) bounced back in the second set as it hit. 286 en route to a two-point win. The Flyers, however, held USI to a .022 attacking percentage in the third frame and a .083 clip in the fourth set as they handed the Eagles their second straight loss.

The Eagles also found themselves playing catchup in the fourth set as Lewis jumped out to an early 7-2 lead it would not relinquish.

Junior middle hitter Taylor Litteken (Foristell, Missouri) had 10 kills and hit .385 to lead the Eagles, who were held to a .107 attacking percentage for the match. Senior setter Casey Cepicky (St. Louis, Missouri) finished with 26 assists, while senior libero Callie Gubera(Thorntown, Indiana) and sophomore outside hitter Leah Anderson (Bloomington, Illinois) had 17 and 15 digs, respectively, to lead USI’s back row.

Senior middle hitter Ava Venema had 16 kills and a .424 attacking percentage to lead the Flyers, who finished with a .318 team attacking percentage.

USI returns to Screaming Eagles Arena Tuesday at 7 p.m. when it hosts McKendree University in a GLVC match. The Eagles also host Truman State University Friday at 7 p.m. for their breast cancer awareness match before finishing their three-match homestand next Saturday at 3 p.m. against the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

McKendree enters Tuesday’s match against USI with a 3-8 overall record and a 1-2 mark in GLVC play after falling to the University of Illinois Springfield in four sets Saturday afternoon in Springfield, Illinois.

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