Volleyball sees Summit League slump

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Becca Langys/ Photo Editor

Shiah Sanders prepares for the ball return.

Christopher Bean, Courier Staff

VERMILLION, S.D.- The Western Illinois University volleyball team lost their 15th and 16th game in a row this weekend against the University of Nebraska-Omaha and the University of South Dakota, dropping to 1-16 on the year and 0-4 in the Summit League.

The Leathernecks took on Omaha on Friday night and lost three sets to none. Western got off to a good start leading 12-10 in the first set. Then Omaha went on a 5-0 run to retake lead and didn’t look back taking the first set 25-19. In the second set, Western found themselves down early 4-1, but went on a mini 4-0 run to take a 5-4 lead. After splitting the next four points, Western led 7-6, but that would be there last lead of the second set. Omaha went on a 5-0 run to retake the lead and maintain their led to go up two sets to none. They even prevented Western to get back-to-back points winning 25-15. It was all Omaha in the third and final set winning 25-13 to sweep Western three sets to none. Senior Shiah Sanders and freshman Madeline Dieter led the way with five kills, while sophomore Cassie Hunt led the team in assists with 10. With the win, Omaha moved to 8-7 on the year and 3-0 in Summit League play.

Western then traveled to Vermillion, S.D. to take on the Coyotes of South Dakota on Sunday. Western got off to a poor start trailing 7-1 early but scored four of the next seven points to cut the lead to five. That’s the closet it got, as the best team in the Summit went on a 6-0 run to make it 16-5, and eventually won 25-12. In the beginning of the second start, Western got off to a much better start leading 4-1. South Dakota slowly crawled back making it 11-11 after the first 22 points. Then the Coyotes ran away with the match going on a 8-1 run to make it 19-12. Western hung in there, but the lead was too big to come back from dropping the second set 25-17. South Dakota took their momentum into the third set winning 25-16. South Dakota improved to 10-6 overall, and 4-0 in the Summit.

With the loss, Western Illinois’ losing streak extends to 16; they have only won 14 sets in 17 games. In the four Summit League games played, they have only won three sets. The Leathernecks will continue their conference play as they face North Dakota State University and Oral Roberts University this weekend here at home.