Knights travel to Southern Illinois for final tests prior to conference season

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Bellarmine volleyball team gets in its last competition before the start of ASUN Conference play this Friday and Saturday as the Knights participate in their fourth multi-team event in as many weeks.

This week sees the Knights travel to Carbondale, Illinois for the Salukis Invitational, hosted by Southern Illinois.  Bellarmine will square off against Southeast Missouri State (SEMO) and Alabama A&M on Friday before taking on the host Salukis on Friday.

Bellarmine, 3-6 on the season, is being led by its upperclassmen so far this year. Senior Jayme Scott averages 4.15 kills per set, which ranks second in the ASUN, and her 141 total kills are tops in the league. Senior Emily Arnold and junior You have Garrison are sharing the setting responsibilities with Arnold averaging 8.24 assists per set and Garrison contributing 8.04.

On defense, junior anna lococo is having another solid year as libero, ranking among the ASUN leaders in total digs (140) and digs per set (4.12). At the net, Bellarmine is being led by sophomores Jayda Harris and Ashley Nordmann with 25 and 17 blocks respectively.

Bellarmine’s first match on Friday will be at 1 p.m. (noon CT) against SEMO, who comes in 4-5 on the season. Last year, the Redhawks posted a 26-8 record including a 14-4 mark in the Ohio Valley Conference.  Their leaders this year include Colby Green (3.09 k/s), Izzy Lukens (5.57 a/s), Tara Beilsmith (6.0 d/s) and Mackenzie Meehan (1.52 b/s).

The Knights are back it again Friday at 5 p.m. (4 pm. CT) against Alabama A&M.  The Bulldogs are 1-10 on the season after going 5-23 a year ago.  They are paced by Bailey Duckett (2.56 k/s), Keyara Brooks (5.76 a/s), Tammy Melendez Mondragon (2.34 d/s), and Ryann Tolbert (0.57 b/s).

On Saturday at 2:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m. CT) Bellarmine meets host Southern Illinios, who has gotten off to a 5-4 start in 2022.  That win total matches the SIU 2021 win total with the Salukis going just 5-26 a year ago.  This season, SIU has several hitters vying for the team lead with Tatum Tornatta and Nataly Garcia both averaging over three kills per set. Setting up the offense is Anna Jaworski, who averages 10.09 assists per set. Defensively, the Salukis get 3.81 digs per set from Claudia Bobb while Tornatta also leads the team in blocks with 22.

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