EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) – Sophomore outside hitter Abby Weber (Fishers, Indiana) and junior outside/right side hitter/setter Katherine Koch (Belleville, Illinois) each produced the Screaming Eagles’ first double-double of the season, but it was not enough as University of Southern Indiana Volleyball (0-6, 0-0 OVC) loses to Cornell University (2-1), 3-1 (20-25, 25-20, 23-25, 19-25), Saturday in the Kent State Invitational. Weber tallied 16 kills and 10 digs while Koch recorded 41 assists and 11 digs.
USI opened the match with an early 8-4 lead, but watched it dwindle as Cornell took a 25-20 first frame lead. After going on a 5-0 run, the Eagles watched the Big Red storm back and march a 12-4 surge that USI could not recover from. Junior outside hitter Leah Anderson (Bloomington, Illinois) was able to pitch in by tallying three kills and a service ace.
The second set brought more fortune for the Eagles, defeating the Big Red, 25-20, and securing USI’s first win in the second set this season. The Eagles found themselves down early before sophomore middle hitter Paris Downing (Avon, Indiana) struck down a kill to start a 5-0 USI run that included three Downing kills. The Eagles were able to get something going again as Anderson and sophomore outside/right side hitter Abby Bednar (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) each secured a kill to gain a 14-9 advantage. After plenty of back-and-forth action, Koch sealed the Big Red’s fate with her first kill of the night. Five of USI’s final six points in set two came from kills. The Eagles also finished the set with 17 kills and a .324 attacking percentage, the best percentage in a single set this season.
USI watched the third set slip away, as Cornell drew a 25-23 victory and a one set lead. It was tight back-and-forth action between the two programs until the Eagles got two kills from Koch and an ace from freshman libero/defensive specialist Keira Moore (Newburgh, Indiana) pushed USI to a 19-17 advantage. The Big Red used a strategic timeout that sparked a 4-0 surge that the Eagles did not recover from. USI had an impressive offensive stat line, recording 14 kills and a .235 attacking percentage with two aces.
A 7-3 gap was too much to come back from as the Eagles fall 25-19 and lose its sixth straight match. The Big Red went on several runs to hoist itself to a fourth set victory. USI was able to stay at striking distance with the help of a Weber service ace and a trio of Anderson kills. The Eagles’ defense allowed 14 kills and a match-high .414 attacking percentage in the final frame.
Offensively, Weber ended with a match-high 16 kills and an ace while Anderson finished with 13 kills, nine digs, and an ace. Bednar produced solid numbers for the Eagles, tallying 13 digs, seven kills and two aces. Koch led USI in the passing game with 41 assists along with recording 11 digs while Moore secured a match-high 18 digs.
The Eagles finished the match with 52 kills and a .207 attacking percentage. USI also had 64 digs, 49 assists, and five aces to go along with two blocks.
NEXT UP FOR THE EAGLES:
The Eagles will have nearly one week to recover until the Chattanooga Classic in Chattanooga, Tennessee Friday September 9 to Saturday September 10. The tournament features Miami (OH) University, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and Duquesne University. USI will face the Red Hawks Friday at noon before battling the Mocs at 6 pm The Eagles finish out the classic in a 1 pm duel against the Dukes on Saturday.
Courtesy: USI athletics.
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