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November 15, 2008

Eagles one step away from GLVC title,
Sweep Missouri-St. Louis in semifinals

GLVC Tournament Semifinals
Southern Indiana (18-14): 3
Missouri-St. Louis (23-8): 0
Line Score: 25-22, 33-31, 25-16 (Box Score)

ROMEOVILLE, Ill.The University of Southern Indiana volleyball team is one win away from capturing its third Great Lakes Valley Conference title and its first since 2004 thanks to a 25-22, 33-31, 25-16 victory over the University of Missouri-St. Louis Saturday evening in the semifinals of the GLVC Tournament.

USI (18-14), which will play in the GLVC Championship match for the sixth time since 2000 and the first since 2004, jumped all over the Tritons in the first set to pull out the 1-0 lead in the match.

The Screaming Eagles, who were swept by the GLVC West Division's top seeded Tritons during the regular season, set the tone for the match in the opening game as they attacked at a .279 pace. USI, which jumped out to a 20-13 lead before staving off a late Missouri-St. Louis rally, had four blocks and 16 kills in the first set to take control of the match.

USI racked up eight blocks and 17 kills to edge the Tritons in a second set that featured 16 ties and four lead changes. The Eagles jumped out to a four-point lead midway through the second game and served for set point at 24-23, but could not put the Tritons down as Missouri-St. Louis won two straight points to put the Eagles on their heels.

The two teams went back-and-forth, trading tallies and fighting off set points until the Eagles reeled off a 4-1 spurt to finish the set and take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.

USI, which entered the tournament as the third seed from the GLVC West Division, left no doubt in the third set as they jumped out to an early 8-3 lead. The Eagles attacked at a blistering .375 clip in the third set as they built a 15-10 advantage.

Missouri-St. Louis (23-8), however, used a 6-3 spurt to cut into USI's lead, but the Eagles countered with a 6-0 run to end the set and the match.

Courtney Bealor

Margaret Buschman

Junior outside hitter Courtney Bealor (LaPorte, Indiana) and senior middle blocker Margaret Buschman (Reynolds, Indiana) led the Eagles. Bealor racked up 18 kills, a .429 attacking percentage, and 11 digs, while Buschman finished with 10 kills, a .381 attacking percentage, and eight blocks (four solo and four assists).

Sophomore outside hitter Brittani Oliver (Indianapolis, Indiana) added 10 kills, three blocks, and 12 digs, while junior setter Melanie Pund (Ferdinand, Indiana) had four blocks and 41 assists.

As a team, the Eagles attacked at a .240 clip and had 13.0 team blocks. USI, which held the Tritons to a .082 attacking percentage, had 19.0 team blocks in its 3-2 victory over No. 24 Northern Kentucky University in the first round on Friday.

The Eagles will play the winner of the match between No. 25 Lewis University and the University of Indianapolis Sunday at 2 p.m. for the GLVC's automatic bid into next weekend's NCAA II Midwest Region tournament. The Lewis-Indianapolis match begins at 7:30 p.m.

Dan McDonnell,
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