For Immediate Release
Volleball -- Sept. 20, 2011
Red Devils Sweep Blackburn in Home Opener
EUREKA, Ill. -- Eureka College junior outside hitter Kelli Dunne (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods H.S./Illinois Central) put down a game-high 11 kills and senior middle blocker Brittany Feger (Heyworth, Ill./Heyworth H.S.) set a new career-high with four service aces, leading the Red Devils to a 25-17, 25-15, 25-15 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory over Blackburn, Tuesday night at the Reagan Center.
Dunne’s first two kills of the match gave the Red Devils (2-8, 1-2 SLIAC) a 2-1 lead in the first game, a lead the Red Devils would hold on to for a large portion of the game. After the visitors forced a 15-15 tie and a Eureka timeout, the Red Devils closed the set with a flurry to take an early lead in the match. A Blackburn attack error ignited a 10-2 Eureka run to end the game, and senior middle blocker Paige Fannon (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria H.S.) capped the surge for the hosts when her kill secured the Red Devils’ 25-17 win.
Three straight aces from Feger helped Eureka race to a 4-0 lead in the second game, but the Beavers (3-4, 0-2 SLIAC) used a Jamie Russow ace, a Shelby Smith kill and three Eureka errors to rattle off five straight points for a 5-4 lead. The Red Devils would regain the lead for good when an attack error pushed Eureka in front, 7-6. Eureka would go on to lead by as many as 10 points on two different occasions during the game, and Dunne’s kill gave the Red Devils a 25-15 win.
Eureka trailed only once in the final game of the match. Smith’s service ace gave the Beavers a 6-5 lead before Eureka junior Shari Steidinger (Forrest, Ill./Prairie Central H.S.) and senior Annette Crady (Germantown Hills, Ill./Metamora H.S.) put down consecutive kills to push the Red Devils back in front. After Eureka stretched its lead to four (15-11), the Beavers gave one final push and pulled within a point (15-14) on a Eureka attack error.
Blackburn’s push proved to be too little, too late, as a kill from Eureka sophomore Peyton McAtee (Morton, Ill./Morton H.S.) put the wheels in motion on a 10-1 burst from the hosts to end the game and the match. Junior libero Courtney Kincaid (Green Valley, Ill./Midwest Central H.S.) closed out the sweep for the Red Devils in 66 minutes with back-to-back service aces for a 25-15 win in game three.
Crady earned her second consecutive start and recorded a career-high 22 assists, the most assists by a Red Devil in a match this season. Kincaid led the Red Devils with 24 digs, also a career-best.
The Red Devils will play their next three matches against SLIAC opponents at the Reagan Center, starting with a 6 p.m. match against defending league champion Spalding this Friday at 6 p.m. Eureka will play two more times at home on Saturday, hosting Principia at 10 a.m. and Fontbonne at 4 p.m.
NOTES: Tuesday’s match was the first official NCAA contest on the new hardwood floor inside the Reagan Center ... The win snapped Eureka’s eight-match losing streak ... Eureka is now 8-2 all-time in SLIAC matches versus Blackburn and 5-0 in matches played against the Beavers at the Reagan Center ... Eureka’s .159 team attack percentage was its best effort since hitting .224 at Lincoln Christian on Sept. 1 ... Dunne fell one dig short of her second career double-double ... Eureka’s 12 service aces were season-high ... All 13 healthy Red Devils made an appearance.
For More Information Contact: