Volleyball searches for first conference win

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Volleyball searches for first conference win

Shalyn Greenhaw goes for the kill for a Leatherneck point in Macomb.

Shalyn Greenhaw goes for the kill for a Leatherneck point in Macomb.

File Photo

Shalyn Greenhaw goes for the kill for a Leatherneck point in Macomb.

File Photo

File Photo

Shalyn Greenhaw goes for the kill for a Leatherneck point in Macomb.

Becca Langys, Courier Staff

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The Western Illinois University volleyball team (5-12) has been gearing up this week to face off against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits (2-15) tonight at 7 p.m. in Western Hall. This will be their fourth Summit League game of the season.

Now nearly halfway through their season, the Western volleyball team has been taking great strides to improve their game-play, yet continue to come up short. The Leathernecks have especially put a large emphasis on bringing energy to the court and keeping the momentum high. Whilst their record hasn’t improved like they had hoped, the improved quality of the gameplay how hard the team has been working to get back on track.

The past two weeks of the season have been especially tough for the Leathernecks, and they hope to bounce back and turn over a new leaf during their fourth Summit game. Their past three conference games have resulted in losses for the Leathernecks, and a win now could really turn around their overall momentum pushing further into the season. The Western Illinois record is, so far, better than that of South Dakota State, so the team has high hopes for this upcoming game. By bringing high energy, momentum, and strong gameplay to the court, the Leathernecks have a good shot at coming out on top against the Jackrabbits.

The Jackrabbits also experienced a tough couple of weeks, losing four straight games in a row previous to the one being held tonight in Macomb. The Jackrabbits have been struggling defensively this season, earning a total of 758 digs so far compared to the 1105 digs by the Leathernecks. The leathernecks also lead the Jackrabbits in kills, with a total of 764 kills compared to South Dakota State’s 549 this season. Statistically, Western dominates South Dakota State both offensively and defensively, putting the odds of the match in favor of the Leathernecks.

Offensively, the Leathernecks are being led this season by Redshirt Freshman middle hitter/outside hitter Mackenzie Steckler with a season total of 156 kills. Just trailing Steckler, freshman outside hitter Emma Norris has a total of 155 kills earned for the leathernecks.

Defensively, Senior outside hitter Shalyn Greenhaw is leading Western with a total of 221 digs so far. The key to winning tonight’s game for the Leathernecks will be keeping their strong offense and defense all while maintaining their high energy and momentum in order to beat the Jackrabbits.

The game between Western  and South Dakota State should be one full of energy and intensity. The Leathernecks need to continue to bring their strong defense and offense to the court. Both teams have yet to win a Summit League game so far this season, which makes the stakes for tonight’s game even higher. One team will be leaving with their first conference win — let’s hope that it’s the Leathernecks.

The Western Illinois Leathernecks will play against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits tonight in Western Hall at 7pm. Twitter: @beccalangysxo

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