For the second straight season, the Valparaiso University volleyball team went to a fifth set with perennial Missouri Valley Conference power UNI on the road in Cedar Falls, but Valpo was unable to pull out the victory Friday, falling 3-2 (18-25, 25-16, 25-12, 20-25, 15-7). Along the way, senior Katherine Carlson (Lake Orion, Mich./Notre Dame Prep) moved into the program’s top-10 all-time in career kills.
How It Happened
- Valpo again started the match using just one middle and two right sides, and jumped on top of UNI from the start in the opening set, scoring six of the first eight points of the match. Valpo would never trail in the opener, holding off UNI as it got within one point twice in the middle portion of the set and then closing the frame with three consecutive points.
- Set two was tied up at 14 apiece before the Panthers scored 11 of the final 13 points to close the set. UNI then never trailed in set three to take a 2-1 lead.
- UNI led 12-11 in set four before Valpo reeled off five straight points – including three consecutive kills by Carlson – to go up 16-12. UNI got no closer than three the rest of the way as the sides traded seven straight sideouts – the last coming on a kill from sophomore Ally Cummings (Novi, Mich./Novi) – to end the set as Valpo forced a decisive fifth frame.
- UNI controlled the fifth set nearly from the start, as with the two teams tied at 2-2, the Panthers scored six straight to take control. Valpo would score three of the next four to close to within 9-5, but UNI ended the match with a 6-2 spurt to pull out the win.
Inside the Match
- Valpo has now gone five sets with UNI in Cedar Falls in each of its first two seasons as a member of the MVC.
- Cummings paced Valpo on Friday with 16 kills, leading the Brown and Gold in the category for the third straight match.
- Carlson posted 13 kills as well along with 14 digs, and with her seventh kill moved into the top-10 in program history in career kills. The senior now owns 1,105 career kills.
- Sophomore Brittany Anderson (East Chicago, Ind./Bishop Noll) finished with a double-double, tallying 49 assists and 10 digs, while fellow sophomore Rylee Cookerly (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) led Valpo with 26 digs.
- Sophomore middle Peyton McCarthy (Cincinnati, Ohio/Seton) made a limited return to action, seeing some time in each of the final three sets.
Valpo (20-6, 7-4 MVC) looks for a split of the Iowa road swing on Saturday night at Drake with a 7 p.m. first serve. The match can be seen live on ESPN+.