For Immediate Release
Volleyball -- Sept. 1, 2011
Eureka Volleyball Sweeps Grace Bible in Dulle's Debut
LINCOLN, Ill. -- First-year Eureka College volleyball head coach Bethany Dulle picked up her first career collegiate head coaching victory in the Red Devils’ 25-22, 25-12, 25-22 drubbing of Grace Bible, Thursday night at the Laughlin Center in Lincoln, Ill. Eureka dropped the nightcap of the season-opening doubleheader to host Lincoln Christian, 25-7, 25-15, 25-20, for the doubleheader split.
Eureka stumbled out of the gate in the season opener against Grace Bible, falling behind 14-10 in the opening set before a kill by senior Paige Fannon (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria H.S.) ignited the Eureka offense and put the wheels in motion on a 15-8 run by the Red Devils to close the opening set. A GBC attack error gave Eureka an 18-17 lead, its first advantage since leading 1-0. The Red Devils would hold on to the lead for the remainder of the set and a kill by newcomer Kelli Dunne (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods H.S./Illinois Central) clinched the 25-22 win.
Fannon set the tone in the second set, putting down back-to-back kills for a 2-0 lead. The Tigers later took advantage of three Eureka attack errors and a service error to lead 8-6, but the Red Devils responded with a flurry, rattling off 17-1 run behind excellent service from senior Brittany Feger (Heyworth, Ill./Heyworth H.S.) and junior Courtney Kincaid (Green Valley, Ill./Midwest Central H.S.). Feger and Kincaid each picked up two aces during the burst, while junior Shari Steidinger (Forrest, Ill./Prairie Central H.S.) collected four kills before the dust settled with Eureka in front, 23-9. A Grace Bible attack error ended the set moments later with a 25-12 win for the Red Devils.
After the two squads played evenly throughout most of the final set, Grace Bible’s service error helped Eureka break a 21-21 tie. A block assist from Fannon and sophomore Emily Campbell (Pontiac, Ill./Pontiac H.S.) clinched the 25-22 win in the set, making a winner of Dulle in her collegiate head coaching debut and sending the Red Devils to their second consecutive season-opening victory.
Dunne and Steidinger paced the Red Devils in the win with 10 kills apiece, while Dunne added a team-best 13 digs for her first career double-double. Campbell chipped in with a career-high 18 assists, while sophomore Eileen Bollinger (Custer Park, Ill./Reed-Custer H.S) also had a career-best with six helpers. All 13 healthy players made an appearance.
In the nightcap, two-time NCCAA Division II national champion Lincoln Christian set the tone for its sweep of the Red Devils with a 25-7 win in the opening set. The Red Devils improved throughout the match and nearly won the third set after rallying within a point late (18-17), but the Red Lions closed the third set on a 7-3 run to clinch the three-set sweep.
Dunne and Feger each had five kills against LCU. Junior Becca Idell (Toluca, Ill./Fieldcrest H.S.) finished the contest with 11 digs.
Eureka will have the weekend off from game competition before returning to the road at Robert Morris-Springfield on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
NOTES: Fannon (102) and Kincaid (68) extended their consecutive matches played streaks Thursday. Both players have never missed a match in their careers ... Newcomers Karson Gragert (Georgetown, Ill./Georgetown-Ridge Farm H.S.) and Annette Crady (Germantown Hills, Ill./Metamora H.S.) made their collegiate debuts in the match against Grace Bible ... Fannon finished the night with three solo blocks, running her career total to 94. She needs 13 more to move into a tie for ninth place on the all-time Eureka list ... The opener versus Grace Bible lasted only 66 minutes ... Lincoln Christian swept Grace Bible in three sets in a match that started at 3:30 p.m.
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