Eureka Tops Blackburn, Falls to Greenville in SLIAC Quad

Photo courtesy of Michelle Curl.
Photo courtesy of Michelle Curl.

EUREKA — The Eureka volleyball team claimed its first St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory on Saturday when the Red Devils bested Blackburn in four sets to start off their home quad.

EC won it, 26-24, 25-21, 21-25, 25-23. After that, however, the Red Devils fell to Greenville in three sets, 25-20, 25-13, 25-9, finishing the day with a split.

In the win over Blackburn, the Red Devils edged the Beavers in two close sets before falling in Set 3.

In the fourth and final set, EC was trailing 22-20 when they scored three straight points to make it 23-22 and force a Blackburn timeout.

The Beavers took the next point to tie the set again, but they hit the next one out and the final one into the net, sealing the result for the home team.

It was the first conference win for first-year EC coach Nick Mackall.

Annaliese Miller (Chenoa, Ill./Prairie Central) racked up a career-high 13 kills on 37 swings for the Red Devils. Ariel Campbell (Decatur, Ill./Cerro Gordo) followed with 10 kills. It was the first match of the season in which two Red Devils reached double-digit kills.

Sara Worrell (Jacksonville, Ill./Routt) distributed 35 assists, while Paige Klingler (Newton, Ill./Newton), Megan Masching (Pontiac, Ill./Pontiac) and McKenzie Reiners (Milford, Ill./Milford) registered 14, 13 and 10 digs, respectively.

Reiners also had eight kills while hitting a team-high .273.

Eureka stayed with Greenville throughout a highly-competitive first set. A solo block by Reiners tied the match at 16-all, but the Panthers recovered, ripped off four straight points and coasted the rest of the match.

With their first conference win in hand, the Red Devils (4-9, 1-4) will return to non-conference play on Tuesday when they host Dominican at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena at 7 p.m.