The Valpo volleyball team finally got its 2019 home campaign under way Monday evening at the ARC, hosting defending Missouri Valley Conference champion UNI. The Panthers came out winners in straight sets (25-21, 25-17, 25-19).
How It Happened
- UNI controlled the first half of the opening set and had its lead at five points past the midway point.
- The Panthers still led by five at 15-10 before Valpo reeled off five straight points, capped by back-to-back kills from junior Jaclyn Bulmahn (McCordsville, Ind./Mt. Vernon), to even the frame at 15 apiece.
- UNI would score the next two points, but Valpo responded with four more in a row, including another Bulmahn kill, to go ahead 19-17.
- The teams traded sideouts, and then after the Panthers scored the next two, a service error returned the serve to Valpo leading 21-20. But UNI ended the opening set on a 5-0 run which included four blocks as it took the opener.
- UNI looked to pull away approaching the midway point of set two, leading 12-5, before Valpo rattled off five straight points which included kills from four different players to close within two.
- UNI scored the next two points, but the Brown and Gold responded with the next three to make it 14-13.
- Try as it might, however, Valpo was unable to tie the set, as after the teams traded sideouts, UNI scored six of the next points to pull ahead by five and take control en route to a 2-0 lead in the match.
- The third set featured 11 tie scores as the two squads battled for control of the frame. Valpo jumped out to an early 5-2 lead, which included a block and a service ace by junior Peyton McCarthy (Cincinnati, Ohio/Seton). UNI scored the next four points to go up 6-5 and set up the back-and-forth nature of the set.
- From that point through 16-16, only once – Valpo at 14-12 – did either squad have more than a one-point lead. But after a kill by junior Ally Cummings (Novi, Mich./Novi) made it 16-all, the Panthers scored the next four, and Valpo got no closer than three points the rest of the way.
Inside the Match
- Valpo opened its home schedule on Monday night after playing its first 15 matches of the season away from home. It marked the longest stretch of road/neutral matches for a Valpo team since the 1996 squad played 20 straight away from the friendly confines of the ARC.
- Bulmahn led Valpo on Monday with 11 kills, her seventh double-digit effort in the category this year. Six of Bulmahn’s kills came in the opening frame.
- Cummings added seven kills on a team-best .294 hitting.
- Junior Brittany Anderson (East Chicago, Ind./Bishop Noll) handed out 24 assists and junior Rylee Cookerly (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) picked up 13 digs to lead Valpo, respectively.
- UNI and Valpo committed a similar number of unforced attack errors – 13 for UNI, 12 for Valpo – but the Panthers picked up 10 blocks to Valpo’s one and out-killed the Crusaders, 44-31, as they hit at a .313 clip versus an .082 clip for Valpo.
- Monday marked the first time in six matchups against UNI since joining the MVC that Valpo did not claim a set from the conference powerhouse.
- Prior to the match, Anderson was recognized for reaching the 3,000-assist mark for her career earlier this season, while head coach Carin Avery also was honored for earning her 400th win at the helm of the Valpo program.
Valpo (5-11, 0-2 MVC) heads right back on the road this week, facing its in-state foes, starting with Evansville Friday evening. The match can be seen live on ESPN3.