USI Volleyball wins fifth straight

Sophomore outside hitter Fawn Ryan (Batesville, Indiana) had a match-high 15 kills as the University of Southern Indiana volleyball team earned its fifth straight victory with a 25-21, 25-16, 25-17 victory over visiting Kentucky Wesleyan College Tuesday night at the Physical Activities Center.

Ryan recorded six of her 15 kills in the second set and five in the third frame as the Screaming Eagles bested the Panthers for the 29th straight time and remained unbeaten in Great Lakes Valley Conference play.

After the Panthers (4-9, 0-3 GLVC) clawed to within a point of the Eagles late in the opening set, sophomore outside hitter Lauren DeShaney (Appleton, Wisconsin) laid down three straight kills to give USI a 24-20 advantage. Following a Kentucky Wesleyan score, DeShaney clinched the frame for USI with her fifth kill in nine swings.

USI (5-7, 3-0 GLVC) traded scores with the Panthers early in the second stanza, but a 7-2 burst allowed the Eagles to build an 11-6 cushion. Ryan had three of her game-two kills as well as an ace in the run that gave the Eagles breathing room.

The Panthers came out swinging following the intermission, using a pair of kills from freshman outside hitter Ashley Smith to build an early 6-3 advantage.

USI, however, responded with seven straight points, six of which came during Ryan's serving rotation. Freshman right side hitter Erica Oberbroeckling (Westfield, Indiana), who had five of her nine kills in the final game, hammered down three kills in the run that put USI in front for good.

Kentucky Wesleyan closed to within three points later in the set, but Ryan recorded back-to-back kills following a USI timeout and had three successful attacks in a 4-0 run that sealed the Panthers' fate.

In addition to her nine kills, Oberbroeckling finished with a .615 attacking percentage and seven digs. Junior setter Jorae Bradbury (Decatur, Indiana) added a match-high 38 assists, while junior libero Kayla Heldman (Greenwood, Indiana) finished with match-high 13 digs.

USI, which hit .288 as a team, held the Panthers to a .093 attacking percentage. Smith led Kentucky Wesleyan with nine kills, while senior libero Morgan Watson had 10 digs.

The Eagles return to action Friday at 7 p.m. when they travel to Somers, Wisconsin, to take on the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. USI's trip to the Wisconsin begins a four-match road trip that includes stops at Lewis University, Saint Jospeh's College, and No. 9 University of Indianapolis.