For the second straight Saturday, the Murray State volleyball team polished off a 2-1 weekend by defeating the host at an early-season tournament, this time defeating Southern Illinois in three sets, 25-23, 25-14, 25-18, Saturday afternoon at the Saluki Invitational.
The Racers improve to 4-2 on the season while the Salukis fall to 3-3.
Senior Dacia Brown and sophomore Becca Fernandez were each named to the All-Tournament team. Brown had 43 kills in the three matches while hitting over .300 in the two wins over SIU and Alabama A&M while Fernandez led the team with 47 digs.
Brown led the team with 13 kills and hit .393 against the Salukis, while junior Rachel Giustino had 12 kills, eight digs, and four blocks. Callie Anderton had 39 assists and three service aces and junior Alex Kaufmann had a team-high 14 digs.
The Racers jumped out to an early 9-3 lead thanks to a 5-0 run, which culminated with a block by Giustino and redshirt-freshman Kolby McClelland. However, the Salukis responded with a 7-1 run to tie the set at 10. A couple points later, Murray State went on another 5-0 run, but again, SIU answered and got back to within one at 21-20. Kills by McClelland and junior Megan Lindsay and an error by SIU gave the Racers match point, but Southern Illinois won three straight points before an attack error gave MSU the first set.
Similar to the first set, the Racers used an early run to take a 10-3 lead and again SIU answered back to get within one at 11-10. However, Murray State responded with a 7-0 run and never looked back as they took the set, 25-14, ending it with a 4-0 run.
In the third set, the Salukis took an early 3-0 lead, looking to mount a comeback, but MSU did not let the set get away as they eventually tied it at 10. With the score tied at 15, McClelland bookended a 5-0 run as she started it with a kill before finishing it with a service ace, which allowed the Racers to take the set, 25-18.
Murray State will be back in action, Friday in Laramie, Wyoming, as they take on Arizona State at 11 a.m. and Binghamton at 6 p.m. They will close out the UNIWYO Invite, Saturday at 2 p.m., when they take on the host Cowboys.