For Immediate Release
Volleyball -- Sept. 24, 2011
Red Devils Split Saturday SLIAC Matches
EUREKA, Ill. -- Eureka College junior libero Courtney Kincaid (Green Valley, Ill./Midwest Central H.S.) doubled her previous career-high with 48 digs and junior outside hitter Shari Steidinger (Forrest, Ill./Prairie Central H.S.) recorded her fifth career double-double, leading the Red Devils to a 25-14, 21-25, 25-20, 25-19 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory over Fontbonne, Saturday night at the Reagan Center. Principia downed the Red Devils in three sets Saturday morning to give the Red Devils a Saturday split.
In the afternoon match against Fontbonne (2-4, 2-3 SLIAC), Eureka never trailed in game one and cruised to a 25-14 victory. Clinging to an 11-8 lead midway through the game, senior middle blocker Brittany Feger (Heyworth, Ill./Heyworth H.S.) recorded kills on three straight rallies to highlight a 6-0 run to push Eureka in front, 17-8. The Griffins pulled within seven points on three different occasions later in the frame before a kill from senior middle blocker Paige Fannon (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria H.S.) gave the hosts the 25-14 win.
Fontbonne exploited some early Eureka (3-10, 2-4 SLIAC) woes in the second game, taking advantage of seven Eureka errors to build a 9-4 lead. The Red Devils battled back to force ties on two different occasions later in the set, but the Griffins rattled off seven straight points for a 20-13 advantage before eventually holding on for a 25-21 win in the game to tie the match at 1-1.
The third game featured 11 ties and six lead changes before Steidinger’s kill moved the Red Devils in front, 16-15. Despite Fontbonne keeping its deficit at one point as late as 19-18, the Red Devils never trailed again in the game and junior outside hitter Kelli Dunne (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods H.S./Illinois Central) gave the hosts a 2-1 lead in the match when her kill clinched a 25-20 win.
Eureka looked poised to put the Griffins away quickly in game four, as Fannon’s kill gave the Red Devils their biggest lead of the game at 17-11. Fontbonne wouldn’t go away quietly, scoring seven of the next eight points to force an 18-18 tie. A Fontbonne service error allowed Eureka to regain the lead on the next play, and the Red Devils would close the game on a 6-1 run to win the game and their second SLIAC match of the season.
Kincaid’s 48 digs were the most on record for a single match in program history and doubled her previous career-best of 24 set last Tuesday in a three-set win over Blackburn. Steidinger had 12 kills and 21 digs, while Feger’s 18 kills were her best effort since putting down a career-best 23 kills as a sophomore versus Knox on Sept. 1, 2009. Sophomore Peyton McAtee (Morton, Ill./Morton H.S.) (11 kills) and Fannon (10 kills) also finished in double-figures for the Red Devils.
Senior setter Annette Crady (Germantown Hills, Ill./Metamora H.S.) turned in the best match of her short collegiate career against Fontbonne, racking up 51 assists. The performance marked the first time a Eureka setter has recorded at least 50 assists since Kylie Bahorik had 56 assists versus Earlham on Sept. 8, 2007.
During the morning match against Principia (5-9, 3-3 SLIAC), Eureka dropped a 25-23, 25-8, 25-7 decision to the Panthers. The Red Devils were unable to maintain a five-point lead (11-6) early in game one before the Panthers cruised to victories in the final two games.
Steidinger and Fannon recorded three kills apiece to lead the Red Devils against Principia. Eureka hit a season-low .017 as a team.
Eureka will resume SLIAC play next Saturday with a noon matchup against defending league co-champion Greenville and a 2 p.m. contest against host Blackburn in Carlinville, Ill.
NOTES: Eureka’s win over Fontbonne evened the all-time SLIAC series at 5-5 ... Steidinger set a career-high with four service aces against Fontbonne ... Eureka’s 60 kills as a team versus Fontbonne were its highest single-match total since getting 60 kills in a five-set win at Blackburn on Sept. 28, 2010 ... Fannon recorded a solo block against Fontbonne to increase her career total to 96. She needs 11 more to move into ninth place on the all-time Eureka list.
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