Road Preview: Eureka Volleyball at Blackburn

Road Preview: Eureka Volleyball at Blackburn

EUREKA –St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play continues for the Eureka volleyball team on Tuesday evening.

The Red Devils are heading to Blackburn for a makeup match after last week's scheduled showdown between SLIAC foes was postponed due to inclement weather and subzero temperatures.

Now, the weather is warming up and the teams are ready to play. First serve is at 7 p.m.

Setting the Scene

The Red Devils enter this one with an 0-4 record, still searching for their first win. They're coming off a 25-14, 25-14, 25-21 sweep by Fontbonne in which the team was competitive at times, but struggled to find consistency. The team is averaging 6.38 kills per set, 1.31 service aces per set and .62 blocks per set. Eureka is also averaging 18.85 digs per set, ranking third in the SLIAC.

Blackburn is 2-1 and coming off its first sweep of the season at Iowa Wesleyan on Saturday. Its other win came in a five-set thriller against Fontbonne and its only loss was a four-setter at Westminster.

The Beavers are second in the SLIAC in service aces (2.33) and third in blocks (1.25).  They're sixth in the SLIAC in kills per set (9.08), in hitting percentage (.105) and in assists per set (8.08), and are eighth in digs (16).

Stat Leaders

Junior middle hitter Corinne DeBoard leads the Red Devils in kills per set with 2.08 over 13 matches, and she's followed by junior newcomer Emma Harris at 1.90 and freshman Regan Reed at 1.54. Freshman setter Faith Catour has distributed 79 assists (5.69 per set), and sophomore libero Jordyn Fox is averaging a team-high four digs per set. DeBoard is right behind her at 3.85. Fox has also landed a team-high seven aces, while DeBoard and freshman Katelin Peters each have four total blocks.

For Blackburn, junior Lucy Magnussen has racked up a team-high 26 kills in three matches (2.17 kills per set) and is hitting a team-high .318. Senior Kaitlyn Wiegand has notched 24 (two kills per set), while sophomore Elizabeth Bowyer is hitting .271. Setters Sabrina Kelsey and Autumn Wilson are registering 4.25 and 4.11 assists per set, respectively.

In the back row, defensive specialist Amanda Swedberg is averaging 3.58 digs per set, and in the front row, Emily Eitzenheffer has made a team-high five blocks (.83 per set) – good for third in the SLIAC. Swedberg and Wilson are also third and fourth in the SLIAC in aces per set with .83 and .67, respectively.

History/Trends

Eureka holds a 27-11 lead over Blackburn in the all-time series, but Blackburn was taken three of the last four meetings. Two seasons ago, the Beavers bested the Red Devils in a pair of five-set thrillers. In 2019, the Red Devils won the first match in four sets and dropped the second in three.

Coming Up

After Tuesday night's road match, the Red Devils will head home to host Webster on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Gorloks are 1-1 after sweeping Fontbonne and getting swept by Greenville. Then, on Saturday, Eureka will host Westminster (4-0) at 3 p.m. to complete the first month of the spring 2021 season.