The Eastern Kentucky University volleyball team put up a fight against Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in their second match-up but was unable to pull away.

The Colonels lost on Sunday, March 7 after the Cougars were able to win three sets in a row, 3-0. The Cougars took the first set, 25-17 and the second set, 25-18. The Colonels were able to take a short lead in the third set but SIUE swept in with a win, 25-22. Jovana Bulatovic led the Colonels with 10 kills, Sydney Schoen led with 13 digs and Audrey Eurton led with 21 assists.

“Losing to a team like yesterday in three sets… I feel like our team did a lot better at battling and proving to them that this is our home court,” head coach Johnna Bazzani said.

On Monday, March 8 the Cougars got a quick in the first set due to the attack errors made by the Colonels, 25-10. The second was dominated by the Colonels until the Cougars sneaked within the last few points and then took it, 25-22.

“We started serving a little more aggressively and keeping them out of system,” Bazzani said. “I feel like the first two sets, they were in the system the majority of the time and that’s hard for us to defend right now.”

The third set the Colonels were able to take a significant lead and a kill from Molly Michalak, allowing them to take the third set, 25-19. The fourth set was a battle between the two teams but the Colonels were able to take it, 25-21.

Heading into the fifth set, the Colonels were ready to bounce back from a loss to the Cougars but SIUE wouldn’t allow that to happen and take the set, 15-12 and the match, 3-2. Michalak led the Colonels with 19 kills, Schoen had 15 digs and Eurton had 51 assists.

EKU was hitting a.259 percent while the Cougars were hitting .325 percent.

“I think the communication is getting better, we’re still young and I think everyone is still trying to find their voice,” Bazzani said. “The trust piece is coming but overall I think we’re still working together as a team and trying to build that communication.”

The Colonels fall to 2-8 in the Ohio Valley Conference.

EKU will look to bounce back as they travel to Jacksonville, Alabama this weekend to take on Jacksonville State University. The games will be on March 14 at 4 p.m. and March 15 at 5 p.m.

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