ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL – Governors State pushed its win streak to three matches before suffering its first loss of the season on Saturday as the RMU Eagle Invitational drew to a close. The Jaguars finished with a 3-1 record on the opening weekend of the 2017 campaign.
GSU recorded the third-best record among the eight-team field. Host Robert Morris (4-0) and Graceland (4-0) went undefeated, followed by GSU (3-1), Brescia (3-1), Culver-Stockton (1-3), Midway (1-3), Moody Bible (0-4) and Rochester (0-4).
The Orange and Black met a pair of first-time opponents from the Heart of America Conference on the second day of tournament action.
Governors State opened with a 3-1 victory (25-23, 12-25, 26-24, 25-17) over Culver-Stockton. The Jaguars set the tone early by capturing the first game, winning six of the last seven points after trailing 22-19.
Ashley Pickert, who was named to the all-tournament team, buried 17 kills and shared team honors with 12 digs while Erika Halverson notched her fifth career double-double with 10 kills and 12 digs along with six service aces. The Wildcats were led by Jenna Lord's .636 attack percentage (seven kills on 11 attempts).
Graceland put an end to GSU's win streak, notching a 25-17, 27-25, 25-22 sweep in the second match of the day. The Yellowjackets, who have strung together 24 straight 20-win seasons, received a .423 hitting performance from Emma Runyan to remain unbeaten on the season (4-0).
Pickert matched her offensive output (17 kills) from a few hours prior, tying the school's all-time kills record of 460 (set by Hayley Wacker).
"I'm very pleased with our results this weekend," said GSU Head Coach Pedro Gonzalez. "The poise and level of competitiveness we showed are good signs moving forward."
GSU prepares for its home opener this Friday (Sept. 1) versus Silver Lake.