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November 08, 2005

Eagles looking for another tournament run

EVANSVILLE, Ind.The University of Southern Indiana volleyball team will be looking to win its third GLVC Tournament title in the last four years when it competes this weekend in Kansas City, Missouri.

USI (19-12, 11-5 GLVC) enters the league tournament as the fourth seed and plays the fifth-seeded University of Indianapolis Greyhounds (22-13, 11-5 GLVC) in the first round Thursday at 5 p.m. The Screaming Eagles defeated the Greyhounds, 3-2, last Saturday.

Junior outside hitter Emily Ryan (Batesville, Indiana) led the Eagles in their victory over Indianapolis with a match-high 22 kills and 17 digs. For the season, Ryan leads USI and ranks sixth in the conference with 3.69 kills per game (kpg).

Senior middle blocker Laura Ellerbusch (Newburgh, Indiana) had 15 kills and seven blocks against the Greyhounds, while junior outside hitter Chelse Doubler (Griffin, Indiana) had 15 kills in the victory. Ellerbusch leads the team and ranks fifth in the league with 1.11 blocks per game, while Doubler is third on the team with 3.10 kpg.

If the Eagles want to make it to their sixth straight GLVC Championship match, they will have to win Thursday and then defeat either the number-eight seed Bellarmine University Knights (16-13, 8-8 GLVC) or number-one seed and No. 20-ranked Rockhurst University Hawks. Rockhurst (26-5), the number-one ranked team in the region, earned the tournament hosting right after posting a 15-1 mark in GLVC play.

The other half of the bracket includes the number-two seed Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Cougars (24-5, 14-2 GLVC) and number-seven seed Drury University Panthers (12-17, 8-8 GLVC). The number three-seed Northern Kentucky University Norse (25-6, 12-4 GLVC) will play the number-six seed Lewis University Flyers (17-12, 9-7 GLVC).

USI was 0-5 against the top three teams in the conference tournament, but was 5-0 against the bottom half of the tournament field. The Eagles took Rockhurst to five games the last time the two teams played, and saw a two-game advantage evaporate in a five-game loss to Northern Kentucky. The Eagles defeated SIU Edwardsville in the 2004 GLVC Championship match.

The Eagles will depart for Kansas City at 8 a.m. Wednesday. They practice today from 2-4 p.m. at the PAC.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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