The Valpo volleyball team looked to carry momentum from Sunday’s sweep into Monday’s rematch with Bradley at the ARC, claiming the first set handily, but the visiting Braves came back and won the next three sets to earn a 3-1 (18-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-19) victory as the two squads split the two-match series. The loss ended Valpo’s winning streak at four consecutive matches.
How It Happened
- Valpo used a 5-0 run, which included a kill and a block from junior Haley Hart (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East), to take a 12-7 lead at the midway point of the opening frame.
- Bradley got no closer than two points the rest of the way in the opening set, as the Brown and Gold hit .326 with 16 kills and just one attack error in taking the 1-0 lead.
- Valpo held a five-point advantage multiple times in the second set, the latest coming at 14-9.
- Bradley reeled off a 12-2 run from that point, the last seven points coming in a row as the Braves gained control.
- Back-to-back points for Valpo closed the gap to 21-18, but Bradley scored four of the set’s final five points to even the match.
- Valpo led past the midway point of set three, 13-9, before the Braves scored five straight to take the lead.
- While Valpo tied the score twice more in the third set, it was unable to regain the advantage, as Bradley kept Valpo from stringing together consecutive points the rest of the way.
- Bradley took the lead for good in the final set with a 9-3 run which turned an 8-8 tie into a 17-11 lead. The Brown and Gold closed to within three points twice, but could get no closer as Bradley closed out the road win.
Inside the Match
- Monday’s defeat snapped a four-match winning streak for Valpo.
- Valpo has now split four of its six MVC series this year. The two-match series against the Braves was the first of those splits to feature a Valpo win in the opener.
- One day after Bradley was limited to just 37 kills on .146 hitting over three sets, the Braves notched 65 kills over Monday’s four sets and hit .222.
- Meanwhile, Valpo hit just .170 on Monday, 122 points lower than its season-best clip from Sunday’s sweep.
- Hart and junior Jillie Grant (Maumee, Ohio/Anthony Wayne) tied for team-high honors with 13 kills apiece. Hart recorded four blocks as well, while Grant posted 20 digs.
- Senior Peyton McCarthy (Cincinnati, Ohio/Seton) hit .367 with 12 kills, committing just one attack error. McCarthy also led Valpo with five blocks.
- Freshman Victoria Bulmahn (McCordsville, Ind./Mt. Vernon) tallied 46 assists and 14 digs on Monday.
- Five Valpo players in all reached double figures in digs. Senior Rylee Cookerly (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) notched a team-best 21 digs, but was one away from match-high honors as she was bested in the category for the first time since the season opener.
- Sophomore Bella Ravotto (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian) totaled 11 digs and senior Melissa Flynders (Mokena, Ill./Providence Catholic) tallied 10 digs as well.
- Despite having five players reach double figures in the category, Valpo was out-dug by Bradley, 102-83. The Braves entered the week the only team in the nation averaging more digs/set than Valpo.
Valpo (7-7, 6-6 MVC) continues its six-match homestand as it welcomes UNI to the ARC for two matches next week. The series opens Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. and will be broadcast live on The Valley on ESPN.