CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (NEWS3)—Last year, the Western Illinois Volleyball Team had a total of three wins. After this past weekend at the Redhawk Invitational, the Leathernecks now have a 3-3 record, accomplishing other tasks along the way. These tasks include matching last year’s win record and taking a winning record out of a road tournament for the first time since 2017.
The first of three matches was against the Evansville Aces. WIU won the match 3 sets- 2 sets and avenged a reverse sweep from last year.
In the match, WIU hit incredibly well at 30 percent. JoJo Kruize had another outstanding performance with 22 kills (her career high) and 2 blocks while hitting 38 percent. Western kept up the blocking prowess, out-blocking the Aces 8-3. Rachel Tam, for Evansville, dominated WIU last year when the two teams met with 29 kills. This year, Tam only had 21 kills.
With match one being a five-game success, WIU next took on Southeast Missouri State.
SEMO swept them 3 sets – 0 sets. WIU hit just 14 percent while they gave up 35 percent hitting-percentage to SEMO. JoJo Kruize led the team in kills again with 15.
The third match of the tournament went very well for the Leathernecks. They faced Jackson State and handled the Tigers quick and easy. Jackson State hit just 7 percent for the entire match, and WIU beat them in all major statistical categories. The big standout stat was blocking. Freshman middle-hitter, Elle Shult, had her break out performance in front of the net with 7 blocks.
Overall, WIU went 2-1 in the tournament and had two players make the all tournament team. Kruize made the team with 45 kills, and Makenzie Steckler made it with her 14 blocks an 17 kills.
Next up for the 3-3 Leathernecks is the home opener against 4-2 Drake, who is coming off of a strong tournament performance of their own. The match tips off Tuesday night at 6 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN3 and heard on 88.3 the Dog