ST. LOUIS, Mo. - The Western Illinois volleyball team accomplished something the program had not done since 1991, defeat the Saint Louis Billikens. The Fighting Leathernecks earned the victory in convincing fashion Tuesday evening (Oct. 2), sweeping SLU, 3-0, and snapping a 10-match losing streak to the Billikens.
"After a tough loss on Friday, we had a chip on our shoulder coming to
SLU," said head coach April Hall. "We wanted to get back to our game and our level of play against a
great team, and tonight
we did just that."
Western and Saint Louis battled back-and-forth in the first set. The Leathernecks were able to extend its lead to 14-8 midway through the set, but the Billikens rallied and eventually lead 17-15. The Leathernecks then knotted things up at 17-17, took the lead and never gave it back en route to a 25-22 set win.
In set two, the Leathernecks trailed early, 1-2, but were able to recapture the lead and coast to a 25-17 set victory, never surrendering the lead again throughout the set.
The 25-13 third set win didn't come easy for the Leathernecks, as there were six lead changes early. Western trailed 13-10, rallied to recapture the lead, 15-14, and hold onto the lead until the end and sweep the Billikens.
"We put forth a strong defensive effort with 7 blocks and 54 digs, 17 of which came from Sam (Fournier)," said Hall. "Offensively we had standout performances again across the board, with Katie (Hosteng) leading the team in kills and hitting percentage."
Katie Hosteng paced Western with 12 kills on 21 attempts for a .571 hitting percentage. The senior also had three digs, two service aces, two blocks and an assist.
Also contributing on the offensive attack was Ann Miller who tallied nine kills, Samantha Fournier who put down seven, and Heather Smith who killed six hits. Sarah Fetter, who led the team in assists with 32, also had four kills on the evening.
SLU was led by Lauren Baumet who had nine kills in the match, Cassie Clarke who had 12 assists, and Grace Bonoma who had 11 digs.
"Tonight we showed great perseverance and fortitude as a collective unit," continued Hall. "And I look forward to getting to practice tomorrow and preparing for another tough conference match against IUPUI.
Western will look to pick up a second straight victory Saturday when IUPUI comes to Macomb. The Leathernecks and Jaguars will kick-off action at 5 p.m. inside Brophy Hall.