For Immediate Release
Volleyball -- Oct. 11, 2011
Principia Downs Eureka Volleyball in Four
EUREKA, Ill. -- The Eureka College volleyball team recorded its best single-match team hitting percentage (.298) in more than three years during Tuesday’s St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference match against Principia, but the visiting Panthers were able to win the final two games of the match to claim a 25-23, 22-25, 25-13, 25-23 league victory over the Red Devils at the Reagan Center.
Eureka roared out of the gate in the opening game, taking a 5-0 lead behind a pair of kills from sophomore outside hitter Peyton McAtee (Morton, Ill./Morton H.S.). The Red Devils maintained the advantage for a large portion of the game, but the visitors clawed back and took their first lead after a Eureka attack error pushed Principia in front, 18-17. Eureka regained a 22-21 lead after back-to-back kills from senior Paige Fannon (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria H.S.) and McAtee, but a pair of kills from Kiersten Andersen highlighted a 4-1 run by the Panthers to close the set for a 25-23 victory.
Game two featured 12 ties and three lead changes, but the Red Devils never trailed by more than two points on their way to earning a 25-22 win to even the match. A kill from Eureka senior setter Annette Crady (Germantown Hills, Ill./Metamora H.S.) broke the 12th and final tie of the game, giving the Red Devils a 20-19 lead that would hold up for the remainder of the set. A Eureka service error pulled the Panthers within two (24-22), but McAtee secured the 25-22 win with a kill.
The Panthers dominated game three, scoring six of the first seven points and never looking back in a 25-13 triumph. Eureka pulled within four (12-8) after an attack error, but the visitors answered with a 7-0 run to put the game away. Christine Nacewicz’s kill clinched the 25-13 win, capping a 13-5 PC run.
In the fourth and final game of the match, Eureka led by as many as four (7-3) and as late as 11-10 after a dump kill by sophomore reserve Eileen Bollinger (Custer Park, Ill./Reed-Custer H.S.). The Panthers answered and took the final lead of the evening when Nacewicz’s kill provided a 13-12 advantage. Eureka had one final gasp when a block assist from senior Brittany Feger (Heyworth, Ill./Heyworth H.S.) and junior Shari Steidinger (Forrest, Ill./Prairie Central H.S.) closed the gap to one (24-23), but Nacewicz’s solo block clinched Principia’s sixth league win of the campaign with a 25-23 decision and a 3-1 match win.
Playing in only her sixth match of the season after battling injuries through the month of September, junior middle blocker Lindsey Hinshaw (Hudson, Ill./Normal West H.S.) put down a career-high 12 kills. That total shared team-high honors with McAtee, who added a season-high 16 digs for her first double-double of the season and fifth of her career. McAtee committed only 2 errors on 16 attempts, and her .625 attack percentage for the match was Eureka’s best mark in a single-match by a player with at least 10 kills since Jenn Simpson recorded a .688 attack percentage against Robert Morris-Peoria on Oct. 27, 2010.
Fannon had five kills on seven attempts without an error. Junior libero Courtney Kincaid (Green Valley, Ill./Midwest Central H.S.) led EC with 32 digs, while Crady picked up 26 of Eureka’s 31 assists. The Red Devils committed only eight errors as a team, their best effort since committing only five errors against Manchester at the Rose-Hulman Invitational on Sept. 11, 2011. Tuesday’s team hitting percentage of .298 was Eureka’s best of the season and best overall since attacking at a .309 clip versus Dominican (Ill.) on Sept. 5, 2008.
Eureka will take a break from SLIAC play this weekend when it takes the short trip to Peoria, Ill. for a 3 p.m. match on Saturday versus Robert Morris-Peoria at the Riverplex.
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