Valpo volleyball senior libero Rylee Cookerly (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) was named the Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Week today, her second award of the season, after another trio of stellar performances in the back row last week.
Trailing two sets to one in its series finale Monday at Illinois State, the Valpo volleyball team led start to finish to claim set four and then crushed the host Redbirds with the program’s most dominant fifth set performance in the rally-scoring era to finish out a 3-2 (25-21, 23-25, 16-25, 25-18, 15-2) victory and earn a split of the two-match series. The win was Valpo’s first over Illinois State since joining the Missouri Valley Conference.
The Valpo volleyball team returned to MVC play Sunday in Normal, Ill. with the first of back-to-back matches at Illinois State, but despite evening the match with a second-set victory, it eventually fell to the host Redbirds by a 3-1 (25-12, 24-26, 25-12, 25-21) final. During the match, senior Rylee Cookerly (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) moved into second position in program history and fifth all-time in MVC history in career digs.
The Valpo volleyball team gave #13 Notre Dame all it could handle in a non-conference road matchup on Thursday afternoon, winning back-to-back sets after dropping the first set, but in the end, it was the Fighting Irish who earned a 3-2 (25-14, 19-25, 22-25, 26-24, 15-10) victory. Senior libero Rylee Cookerly (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) tallied 40 digs, one of the top efforts in the category in the nation this season and tied for the most in a five-set match in program history.
Valpo returns to the road this week, where it will play each of its next five matches. The Brown and Gold step out of MVC play for the second and final time this year on Thursday with the short trip over to nationally-ranked Notre Dame, and then Valpo heads to Normal, Ill. for its two-match series at Illinois State.
The Valpo volleyball team rebounded from a close loss on Sunday with a strong performance Monday to earn a series split with Southern Illinois at the ARC, downing the Salukis by a 3-1 (20-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-15) final. Senior Rylee Cookerly (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) posted the third-most digs by a Valpo player in a four-set match in the 25-point era, and in the process, moved up both the Valpo and the MVC career digs charts.
The Valpo volleyball team saw both of its outside hitters achieve career highs in the kills column on Sunday at the ARC, as senior Jaclyn Bulmahn (McCordsville, Ind./Mt. Vernon) posted 23 kills and junior Jillie Grant (Maumee, Ohio/Anthony Wayne) tallied 22 kills, while sophomore Bella Ravotto (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian) posted a career-best 23 digs defensively, but it wouldn’t be enough as Southern Illinois took a tight fifth set to earn a 3-2 (25-17, 17-25, 27-25, 22-25, 15-13) victory in MVC play.
Valpo returns home to the ARC this weekend for its lone home matches in a nine-match stretch, welcoming Southern Illinois to town on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. and Monday afternoon at 4 p.m.
The Valpo volleyball team twice erased one-set deficits Monday afternoon in MVC play at Missouri State, forcing a decisive fifth set thanks to a stellar offensive performance in the fourth set, but was unable to carry the momentum into the final frame as the Bears earned a 3-2 (25-16, 21-25, 25-20, 17-25, 15-6) win.