Southeast Missouri State wins first-round game at OVC volleyball tournament

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Southeast Missouri State volleyball team withstood a strong challenge in the opening round of the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.

Second-seeded Southeast disposed of seventh-seeded Jacksonville State 25-22, 25-20, 19-25, 25-21 as the eight-team event got under way in Morehead, Ky.

The Redhawks (21-12), after overcoming early deficits to win the first two games, lost Game 3 and found themselves behind 13-9 in Game 4.

But Southeast scored five straight points to rally for a 14-13 lead and never trailed again, although JSU (14-17) pulled into four more ties, the last at 17-17.

Southeast ran off the next two points and stayed ahead the rest of the match.

"It is was what you expect from a conference tournament. It was a battle until the last point," Southeast coach Julie Folliard said in a release.

The Redhawks' offense was paced by senior Brittney Kalinoski and sophomore Kelsey Keeve with 13 kills apiece. Junior Colleen Yarber added 11 kills.

Kalinoski and Yarber each recorded double-doubles as they added 15 and 16 digs, respectively. It was Yarber's 19th double-double of the season.

Keeve tied a career high for kills. She has recorded 13 kills in consecutive matches.

"Kelsey was great in the clutch for us today and was very efficient," Folliard said.

Junior setter Julie Shives also had a double-double with 39 assists to go with a career-high 33 digs, the most digs by a Southeast player this season.

"Julie did a great job adjusting to their game plan and playing great defensively," Folliard said.

Junior Berkley Idel recorded 25 digs. Senior Samantha Lowman added a season-high 18 digs.

The Redhawks advance to play third-seeded Belmont (16-15) in today's 3:30 p.m. semifinal. The Bruins beat sixth-seeded Eastern Illinois in four games Thursday.

Southeast captured a tight five-game home match from Belmont in their lone regular-season meeting.

Today's winner advances to Saturday's 5 p.m. championship match, with that winner earning the OVC's automatic NCAA tournament berth.

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