The Valpo volleyball team closed out action from the DePaul Invitational on Saturday with a pair of matches. Valpo dropped the morning match to Central Michigan, 3-1 (25-23, 25-23, 18-25, 25-19) and then fell in straight sets in the finale to the host Blue Demons (25-18, 25-20, 25-15). Junior Jaclyn Bulmahn (McCordsville, Ind./Mt. Vernon) tied her career high for kills in the morning and then set a new high to close out the tournament.
How It Happened – Central Michigan
- Two big runs started the match, as CMU scored the first seven points before Valpo responded with the next six.
- CMU would enjoy the lead most of the set, until a four-point spurt by the Brown and Gold gave them a 20-18 lead.
- CMU responded with six of the next seven points to earn set point at 24-21, and while Valpo held off two chances on kills from juniors Ally Cummings (Novi, Mich./Novi) and Peyton McCarthy (Cincinnati, Ohio/Seton), the Chippewas converted on their third chance to claim the opener.
- It was Valpo which led for much of the first half of the second set, and then trailing 16-15, it scored five of the next seven to earn a 20-18 lead late for the second consecutive frame.
- But CMU would score the next four points to turn the tables and go up 22-20. Valpo answered with two straight to knot the set at 22-all, but after the teams traded sideouts, CMU scored the final two points of the set to go up 2-0.
- CMU held a narrow 12-11 lead approaching the halfway point of set three, but a four-point spurt for the Crusaders gave them the lead for good and was part of a larger 14-6 stretch to close the set and extend the match.
- Valpo would never lead in the fourth set as CMU closed out the match. Valpo was within two points as late as 16-14 before a 6-1 run by the Chippewas gave them breathing room.
How It Happened – DePaul
- DePaul led for nearly the entirety of the opening set and pulled away with a mid-set 6-1 run, extending a 12-11 lead to 18-12.
- Valpo held a slim lead past the midway point of set two and led as late as 15-14 before DePaul scored the next three. The Crusaders answered with two in a row to tie the frame at 17-all, but the Blue Demons rattled off five in a row to take control.
- Valpo was within one approaching midway through set three at 12-11, but DePaul scored four in a row to kick off a 13-4 stretch to close the match.
Inside the Matches
- Bulmahn matched her career high with 11 kills against CMU, and then did one better to close out the tournament, tallying 12 kills on .480 hitting versus DePaul. Bulmahn also set a career best for blocks on Saturday, tallying five rejections against CMU.
- Bulmahn was one of three in double figures in kills versus CMU, as McCarthy also tallied 11 kills and sophomore Jillie Grant (Maumee, Ohio/Anthony Wayne) led Valpo with 13 terminations. Grant also posted 13 digs for a double-double against the Chippewas, and then totaled 11 kills and 10 digs in the nightcap as well.
- Cooper matched Bulmahn with five blocks against CMU, while junior Rylee Cookerly (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) led the back-row effort in that match with 25 digs as the Chippewas were limited to .110 hitting. Cookerly added a team-best 16 digs against the Blue Demons as well.
- Junior Brittany Anderson (East Chicago, Ind./Bishop Noll) and Cookerly each had three service aces in the tournament finale, the latter matching her career best in the category.
Valpo (4-6) faces its final pre-conference tournament next weekend, trekking to Brookings, S.D. for the Jackrabbit Invitational. Action begins with two matches on Friday, leading off with a matchup against host SDSU at 1 p.m.