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September 30, 2008

Eagles rally comes up short,
Fall to North Alabama in four sets

North Alabama (13-5): 3
at Southern Indiana (7-9): 1
Line Score: 25-21, 25-19, 22-25, 25-21 (Box Score)

EVANSVILLE, Ind.The University of Southern Indiana volleyball team could not overcome a two-set deficit as it fell to the University of North Alabama 25-21, 25-19, 22-25, 25-21 in a non-conference match Tuesday evening at the Physical Activities Center.

After dropping the first two sets, the Screaming Eagles (7-9) held off a fierce North Alabama (13-5) comeback in the third set to cut its two-set deficit in half. USI used a 13-6 run to gain a comfortable 24-17 lead, but the Lions came back to cut the deficit to two points before the Eagles could close out the frame and extend the match to a fourth set.

USI trailed by five early in the fourth stanza, but an 11-4 run put the Eagles up 13-11 midway through the set. The two teams went back-and-forth from that point until the Lions went on a 5-1 run to close the set and end the Eagles' comeback bid.

Courtney Bealor

Brittani Oliver

Junior outside hitter Courtney Bealor (LaPorte, Indiana) and sophomore outside hitter Brittani Oliver (Indianapolis, Indiana) led the Eagles with 16 and 12 kills, respectively. Both Bealor and Oliver finished with 11 digs apiece, while Bealor led USI with three blocks.

USI, which attacked at a .321 clip in the first set, got a double-double from junior setter Melanie Pund (Ferdinand, Indiana), who finished with 38 assists and 11 digs. Sophomore libero Janae Curnutt (Arcadia, Indiana) aided the Eagles' defensive efforts with a team-high 16 digs.

North Alabama got 23 kills and a .514 attacking percentage out of senior middle blocker/right side hitter Whitney Sanders, while senior outside hitter Kelly Pratt tallied 17 kills and 10 digs. Junior setter Alison Jacobs finished with 51 assists, while senior libero Jessica Hansen had a match-high 17 digs.

USI will hit the road for a near month-long road trip, starting with a visit to Romeoville, Illinois, and No. 18-ranked Lewis University Friday at 7 p.m. The Eagles also travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin, to take on the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Saturday at 3 p.m.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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