PEORIA, Ill. - The Fighting Leatherneck volleyball team won both of their matches on Saturday (Aug. 31) to conclude action in the 2013 CEFCU Classic with a 2-1 record. Western defeated Tennessee-Martin on Saturday morning, 3-1, before taking down Maryland-Eastern Shore with another 3-1 victory. Ann Miller represented the Leathernecks on the 2013 CEFCU All-Tournament Team after posting 57 kills on the weekend.
Western Illinois 3, Tennessee-Martin 1
The Leathernecks jumped out to an early 7-3 advantage in the first set versus Tennessee-Martin, but the Skyhawks climbed back to knot things up 9-9. The two team's were tied 10-10 before UT-Martin captured the lead and eventually earned the win, 25-23.
That would be the only set the Skyhawks would win, as WIU earned back-to-back 25-18 victories in sets two and three before a convincing 25-16 fourth-set victory to take the match.
"UT-Martin was a great team that came out strong against us," said head coach April Hall. "We were fortunate enough to grab the win in four sets. We had some amazing individual performances this morning that could not have happened without the contributions of each and every member of this team."
Recording her first 50-assist performance of the season was Sarah Fetter. Fetter also finished with 11 digs, three kills and a block.
"Our team is still working to become more consistent and reach our true potential, as even with a win, we are not satisfied with our overall performance," continued Hall. "I'm confident that with more experience and our upcoming stiff competition, we will form a path in the right direction."
As a team, WIU bettered UT-Martin in nearly every statistical category.
Western Illinois 3, Maryland-Eastern Shore 1
WIU opened the final match of the weekend with a 25-17 first set win against the Hawks before falling in set two, 25-17. Western then handeled UMES in sets three and four, winning by scores of 25-9 and 25-10 to earn the victory.
"Tonight's win helped teach us some lessons we needed to learn about ourselves as a unit," stated coach Hall. "We allowed ourselves to become complacent in set two and learned very quickly that teams feed off of that and will take advantage of us. I'm proud of our efforts in sets three and four, however. We bounced back and found our composure early and kept it throughout the rest of the match."
Once again, Ann Miller and Fournier led the Leathernecks in kills, notching 14 apiece, while freshman Melanie Miller recorded six.
Fetter finished the second match with 39 assists, giving her 134 total for the three-match tournament.
Defensively, Kaitlynn Novak recorded a career-high 16 digs in the match for Western while Kaloupek added 11.
"This weekend was insightful and will help lead us into another tough week starting off at NIU on Wednesday, and Minnesota this weekend," concluded coach Hall.
The Leathernecks will be back in action this coming Wednesday (Sept. 4) as the team travels to Dekalb, Ill. for a single match against Northern Illinois.