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October 14, 2005

Eagles lose momentum, match

Northern Kentucky 3, @USI 2

EVANSVILLE, Ind.Two years ago, the University of Southern Indiana volleyball team found itself down two games and on its way out of the GLVC Tournament. The Screaming Eagles had lost game one and two to the host Northern Kentucky University Norse 30-15 and 30-24.

However, the Eagles turned the table on NKU by winning the next three games and advancing to the GLVC championship match. It was one of the best comebacks in USI history.

Friday night, the Norse returned the favor!

USI (14-10, 6-4 GLVC) dominated the Norse in games one and two, posting a 30-16 victory in the first set and a 30-21 victory in the second. The Eagles held the NKU to a -.026 attacking percentage in the first two games and looked like they had the match wrapped up.

NKU (18-4, 6-2 GLVC), however, had other plans. The Norse hit .300 in the third game and posted a 30-21 victory to send the match to a fourth game. They held the Eagles to a .075 attacking percentage to post a 30-24 victory in game four, and capped off the comeback by posting a .667 attacking percentage en route to a 15-8 victory in the deciding fifth frame.

It marked the first time since November 8, 2002, that the Eagles have lost a match on their home floor when leading by two games. USI, however, went on to win the GLVC Tournament title that same year.

USI, which fed off a raucous crowd of 285, was led by junior outside hitter Emily Ryan (Batesville, Indiana), who finished with 14 kills and 20 digs. Fellow classmate Chelse Doubler (Griffin, Indiana) had 11 kills and five blocks, while senior middle blocker Laura Ellerbusch (Newburgh, Indiana) had 10 kills, 14 digs, and a match-high eight blocks. USI out-blocked the Norse 14-3 in the loss.

Junior libero Mandy Prosbt (Wheeler, Indiana) had a match-high tying 24 digs, while sophomore setter Stephanie Wilson (Terre Haute, Indiana) had 40 assists.

The Norse benefited from a 19-kill performance from freshman opposite side hitter Kristina Eisenmenger and a 17-kill performance from sophomore middle hitter Liz Holmes. Eisenmenger, a left-hander, had 15 kills in the final three games to lead the Norse to the win.

NKU also got 57 assists from junior setter Andrea Lanham, and 24 digs from sophomore libero Maria Tieman.

The Eagles return to action Saturday when they host Bellarmine University at noon.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information


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