Southeast Missouri State volleyball team wins belated debut at Houck Field House

Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Southeast Missouri State’s Emily Coon, left, and Colleen Yarber try to block an attack by Tennessee-Martin’s Allie Whimpey during the second game of their match Tuesday at Houck Field House. The Redhawks won in four games. (ADAM VOGLER)

The Southeast Missouri State volleyball team understandably was excited to finally play its first home match.

Maybe a bit too excited.

"There are always a little bit of nerves," junior middle blocker Emily Coon said. "We're at home, all the fans yelling and screaming."

Southeast displayed some nerves in Tuesday night's opening game against visiting Tennessee-Martin, losing 25-19.

But after that it was all Southeast as the Redhawks romped 25-19, 25-12, 25-13.

Southeast Missouri State’s Brittney Kalinoski makes a dig during the first game of the Redhawks’ four game win over the Tennessee-Martin Tuesday. (ADAM VOGLER)

"Maybe just a little tense," junior setter Julie Shives said about the sluggish start. "But once we get going, like we know how to play, we can dominate teams."

An announced crowd of 535 at Houck Field House saw the Redhawks improve to 11-6 overall and 3-0 in Ohio Valley Conference play with their fifth consecutive win.

"It was awesome to play in front of our home crowd," junior outside hitter Colleen Yarber said.

Southeast, which played its first 16 matches away from Cape Girardeau, is 3-0 in the OVC for the first time since 2001.

"It definitely feels awesome to be 3-0 in conference," Coon said.

Southeast Missouri State players celebrate a point during their four-game victory against Tennessee-Martin. (ADAM VOGLER)

The Redhawks have picked up where they left off in their resurgent 2011 season coach Julie Folliard's first year.

Folliard, taking over a team that missed the OVC tournament the previous two seasons and coming off a ninth-place finish, led the 2011 Redhawks to a fourth-place OVC showing and their first OVC tournament berth since 2008.

"Last year we ended on a high note," Coon said. "We're definitely carrying that momentum over."

Folliard couldn't have been more pleased with the way the Redhawks rebounded from Tuesday's rough first game.

"We came out a little slow. We haven't been at home yet. The team wanted to do so well," Folliard said. "We got into a flow, rhythm of things [after the opening game]."

Southeast recorded a season-high 16 blocks in snapping a four-match losing streak against the Skyhawks (5-11, 1-2).

"We did a great job blocking. We really shut down their hitters," Folliard said.

Yarber, coming off a career-high 22 kills Saturday at OVC opponent SIU Edwardsville, continued her recent stellar hitting.

Yarber led the Redhawks with a match-high 17 kills, hitting at a .378 clip with only three errors. She also had eight digs.

"Colleen has played amazing. She's relaxed and having fun," Folliard said.

Shives recorded a double-double with 34 assists and 10 digs.

Junior libero Berkley Idel led the Redhawks defensively with 19 digs.

Senior outside hitter Brittney Kalinoski added nine kills, and Coon had seven kills while hitting .385.

"You can't just win with one or two people," Folliard said about Southeast's balanced attack this season. "Our ball control, if we can pass, everybody is available."

Redshirt freshman middle blocker Taylor Masterson led in blocks with eight. Sophomore middle blocker Kelsey Keeve added six blocks.

The Redhawks outhit the Skyhawks .250 to .126 in the match. Southeast hit just .139 in the first game before posting figures of .303, .391 and .208 in the final three games.

Southeast also added a season-high eight service aces, led by senior libero Samantha Lowman with three. Yarber and Idel added two apiece.

"We had a slow start, but after the first set we dominated," Yarber said.

The Redhawks have another road match Saturday, against OVC opponent Jacksonville State at 7 p.m., before playing five consecutive home contests.

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