The Valpo volleyball team kicked off a season-long four-match homestand at the ARC Friday evening against Loyola, but fell 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-20) to the visiting Ramblers.
How It Happened
- Valpo scored the first four points of the match and led right up until the brink of the halfway point of the opening set.
- Leading 12-10, Valpo saw the Ramblers rip off five consecutive points to go ahead 15-12. Valpo responded with the next two points, but Loyola came back with four of its own to push its advantage to 19-14.
- Junior Brittany Anderson (East Chicago, Ind./Bishop Noll) had a second-touch kill and an ace during a three-point spurt which brought Valpo back within 19-17, but it would get no closer, as Loyola closed the opening set on a 6-2 run.
- An early four-point run gave Loyola the lead in the second set, an advantage it would carry past the halfway point.
- Trailing 15-13, Valpo put together a four-point spurt, which included kills from three different players, to pull ahead 17-15. But just as quickly, the Ramblers scored six in a row to regain the lead, and Valpo would get no closer than three points following that run as Loyola took a 2-0 lead in the match.
- An 8-1 run mid-set gave Loyola a 16-8 lead and seemingly put the Ramblers in control. But with the score 19-12, Valpo called on a pair of freshmen off the bench – setter Leah Pease (Petaluma, Calif./Marin Catholic) and outside hitter Maddy Boyer (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) – who helped spark a push late.
- Right off the bench, Boyer combined with sophomore Haley Hart (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) on a pair of blocks with Pease serving to cut into the Rambler lead, and a couple points later, Boyer picked up a kill on her first swing to make it 20-15.
- After the teams traded sideouts, junior Rylee Cookerly (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) delivered a service ace which was followed by a kill from junior Ally Cummings (Novi, Mich./Novi) to make it a three-point set.
- Loyola picked up a kill to try to stop the momentum, but freshman Kara Cooper (LaPorte, Ind./LaPorte) answered with a kill of her own and Boyer then recorded a service ace to bring Valpo within 22-20 and force a Loyola timeout.
- Out of the stoppage, however, the Ramblers would score the final three points of the match to close out the sweep.
Inside the Match
- Cummings enjoyed her best match of the season on the attack, finishing the night with a season-high 13 kills on .357 hitting.
- But outside of Cummings, the Valpo offense struggled, as the Crusaders finished with just 31 kills on .103 hitting versus 48 kills on .294 hitting from Loyola.
- Five different players combined for eight service aces on Friday. The eight aces marked the most for Valpo since the team tallied nine in both of its matches on Sept. 20.
- Hart was part of six of Valpo’s seven total team blocks, pushing her average within MVC play to 1.30 blocks/set.
Valpo (8-15, 3-6 MVC) continues its homestand on Monday evening when it hosts Drake at 6 p.m. The match can be seen live on ESPN+.