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September 21, 2005

Eagles upset No. 5 North Alabama,
Extend home winning streak to 18

USI 3, #5 North Alabama 2

EVANSVILLE, Ind.The University of Southern Indiana volleyball team extended its home winning streak to 18 with a 32-30, 23-30, 21-30, 33-31, 15-12 upset victory over No. 5 University of North Alabama Wednesday night at the Physical Activities Center.

USI (8-7) got 19 kills from senior middle blocker Laura Ellerbusch (Newburgh, Indiana) and 18 kills from junior outside hitter Emily Ryan (Batesville, Indiana) as the Screaming Eagles handed the Lions (14-1) their first loss of the 2005 season.

Laura Ellerbusch

The Eagles started out the match by gaining a 10-point advantage in the first game, but a late UNA surge had the Eagles playing catch-up in the opening frame to pick up the 33-31 victory.

On the strength of six kills and a .857 attacking percentage by Ellerbusch in the fourth game, USI was able to overcome a poor second and third game performance to knot the match at two apiece and send it to a decisive fifth game. Ryan also recorded seven of her 18 kills in fourth game.

USI jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead in the deciding game, but a UNA run tied the score at nine later in the frame. The Eagles, however, scored six of the last nine points to take the final game 15-12. They benefited from two kills by both junior outside hitter Chelse Doubler (Griffin, Indiana) and sophomore middle blocker Molly Rahman (Ferdinand, Indiana) as well as a UNA attacking error and a match-clinching kill by Ellerbusch.

Doubler finished the contest with 14 kills, while Rahman tallied nine kills, 10 digs, and a match-high tying five blocks. Freshman middle blocker Meg Buschman (Reynolds, Indiana) recorded 10 kills, while sophomore setter Stephanie Wilson (Terre Haute, Indiana) finished with 62 assists and 12 digs.

Defensively, the Eagles got a huge boost from junior libero Mandy Probst (Wheeler, Illinois). Probst finished the contest with a team-high 19 digs.

UNA got a match-high 29 kills and 24 digs from senior outside hitter Vanessa Ferretti, while senior setter Laura Bellinger had a match-high 66 assists.

The Eagles resume GLVC play when they travel across the Ohio River Friday to take on Kentucky Wesleyan College in a 7 p.m. match in Owensboro, Kentucky. USI finishes its weekend slate with a home regional match with Tiffin University Saturday at 2 p.m. Tiffin also will play Southern Illinois University Edwardsville at 5 p.m. at the PAC.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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