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MOREHEAD, Ky. - In the first match between the Cougars and Eagles since October 26, 2019, SIUE volleyball dropped a five-set heartbreaker at Morehead State on Friday night (13-25, 25-19, 25-23, 24-26, 4-15).

The Cougars started off slow, allowing the hosts to hit .429 en route to a 25-13 first set loss; however, the Cougars would find their rhythm in the following frame, more than doubling the Eagles' hitting percentage and holding the league-leading Eagles to a sub-.200 clip to claim a commanding 25-19 second set win. SIUE would sustain their momentum in the third set, registering a match-high 17 kills to win an ultra-competitive third set. The Cougars looked to be in prime position to notch the upset win in the fourth set with a pair of match points, but a late Morehead State scoring run would prove to be the difference and would see the Eagles claim the narrowest possible fourth-set win. The decisive fifth set saw the Eagles prove why they sit atop the Ohio Valley Conference standings, holding SIUE to their lowest set hitting percentage of the night to secure the match.

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"We competed hard, made huge effort plays and huge defensive plays against a top offensive team in the conference," said SIUE Head Coach Kendall Paulus following the match. "We knew it would be a challenge, and are proud of how the team responded after set one."

A trio of Cougars registered 10-plus kills in the contest, with Savannah Christian and Julia Treichel each registering a team-high 12 kills. Treichel's performance was again exceptional, notching yet another double-double in her stellar 2021 campaign. Annie Ellis also found attacking success, recording 10 kills to hit for .333 on the night. Alyse Drifka and true freshman Grace Beekman both remained true to form in the assist department, notching 22 and 21 assists, respectively. Nicole Kijowski recorded her fourth-consecutive double-digit dig performance with 20 on the night, followed closely by Drifka with 13 and Treichel with 12.

The Cougars, who fall to 5-19 and 2-11 in OVC play, will return to action tomorrow morning to finish out their series at Morehead State. First serve from the Bluegrass State is scheduled for 10 a.m. CT.

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