Salukis travel to Murray State, Belmont to begin Valley action

The Southern Illinois University volleyball team begins Missouri Valley action this weekend on the road as the Salukis head to Murray State Friday with first serve set for 6 pm Following Friday’s match, Southern will travel to Nashville on Saturday to take on the Belmont Bruins beginning at 5 pm

Scouting Murray State

• The Racers finish non-conference action with a 4-6 record after dropping two in a row at the Samford Invite last week (3-2 Clemson, 3-1 Samford).

• Murray State will make its MVC debut on Friday night after finishing 5th in the Ohio Valley Conference in 2021.

• The Racers were selected to finish 10th in the 2022 MVC Coaches Poll, totaling 43 points.

• Freshman Federica Nuccio leads the Racers with 156 kills (3.71 K / S).

All-Time vs. the Racers

• The Salukis and the Racers will meet for the 22nd time Friday night.

• Southern leads the all-time series, 17-4, although the Racers have won the last two.

• SIU and Murray State last met in 2018 in Carbondale where the Racers won 3-0.

Scouting Belmont

• The Bruins enter MVC play currently sitting at 4-9 on the season.

• Belmont will begin its inaugural MVC campaign just ahead of Saturday’s match as they host Missouri State Friday night.

• The Bruins were selected to finish 11th in the 2022 MVC Coaches Poll, totaling 26 points.

• After a slow start, Belmont has won its last two matches, and three of its last four.

All-Time vs. the Bruins

• SIU and Belmont last met in September 2006, when the Bruins swept the match 3-0. The match was the first and only between the programs.

Hot Non-Conference Start

• Entering conference play, the Salukis sit at 7-5 on the season.

• It’s the teams first winning record in non-conference play since the 2019 season.

• SIU has won six of its last eight matches including five clean sweeps for the Salukis during that stretch.

Four Salukis Hit the Century Mark

Tatum Tornatta currently leads the Saluki’s offensive attack with 138 kills on the season, fifth most in the Valley.

• Along with Tornatta; Nataly Garcia (110), Imani Hartfield (108), and Ceci Bulmahn (102) all surpassed the century mark on the season during the Saluki Invite last weekend.

• Hartfield currently has the third highest hitting rate in the Valley at .321.

Serving Up Aces

• The Salukis currently lead the Valley in both aces (88) and aces per set (2.00)

Bailey Neuberger leads Southern with 16 aces through 12 matches, tied for fifth most in the Valley.

• SIU finished the Saluki Invite with a total of 27 aces through the three matches played.

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