The Valpo volleyball team improved to a perfect 7-0 at home this season with a convincing 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 26-24) sweep of visiting Loyola, which entered the match atop the MVC standings, Friday evening at the ARC.
How It Happened
- Loyola jumped out to a 4-1 lead to start set one, but once Valpo got going, it started rolling. The Beacons took the lead for good with a four-point spurt which featured a kill and two service aces from Peyton McCarthy (Cincinnati, Ohio/Seton) to go ahead, 9-7.
- Then, with an 11-9 advantage, Valpo reeled off six points in a row — including two instances of Maddy Boyer (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) and Haley Hart (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) combining on blocks — to go up by eight points.
- The Ramblers rallied late in the frame and got to within two points at 23-21, but a service error gave Valpo set point and Hart came up with a kill to close the opener in the Beacons’ favor.
- Loyola again led early in set two, but again Valpo quickly erased the deficit to take the lead for good. This time, a 5-1 run which included two blocks and a kill by Kara Cooper (LaPorte, Ind./LaPorte) gave Valpo an 8-6 lead.
- With the lead just one point at 12-11, the Beacons put together a decisive four-point run to provide breathing room. Bella Ravotto (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian) accounted for two of the four points with kills as Valpo pushed its lead to five points.
- Later, leading 20-16, Valpo slammed the door with the final five points of the frame — two coming on kills by Boyer — to take the 2-0 lead in the match.
- The third set was the tightest of the match, as it contained 11 ties and seven lead changes. Each squad had three-point leads early in the set before settling into a back-and-forth which featured no more than a two-point lead after the midway point of the frame.
- The Ramblers led 17-15 before Valpo scored four of the next five to go ahead, 19-18. But Loyola came right back with the next three points to regain its two-point edge at 21-19.
- A kill from Boyer snapped the Ramblers’ spurt, and a block from Ravotto and Hart tied things up at 21-all. A Loyola kill briefly gave it another one-point edge, but kills from Hart and Boyer and a service ace from Rylee Cookerly (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) turned things around and gave Valpo match point at 24-22.
- A Rambler kill and a Valpo attack error allowed Loyola to hold off two Valpo match points. The third time proved to be the charm, however, as a kill by Boyer made it 25-24 Beacons and Victoria Bulmahn (McCordsville, Ind./Mt. Vernon) closed out the sweep with a service ace.
Inside the Match
- This is the third time under head coach Carin Avery that Valpo has won at least seven in a row at home to start a season. The 2005 squad posted a perfect 13-0 home record, while the 2003 team won its first seven at home.
- Valpo’s sweep of the Ramblers Friday came after Loyola earned a 3-0 win at the Gentile Center last month in the teams’ first matchup of the year. This is the third time since joining the MVC that Valpo has swept an opponent in its second matchup after falling in straight sets in the first meeting, joining the 2019 team versus Bradley and the 2017 team versus Drake.
- Hart continued her strong season within conference play with a match-high 10 kills while hitting .389. Defensively, she tied for match-high honors as well with four blocks.
- Boyer chipped in eight kills on .333 hitting in the winning effort.
- Both Valpo and Loyola finished the evening with 37 kills as a team, but the Beacons had nine fewer attack errors and hit over 100 points better than the Ramblers, thanks in part to eight team blocks. McCarthy and Cooper joined Hart in registering four rejections apiece.
- McCarthy’s fourth block of the match was the 422nd of her career, moving her past Ellen Vanden Berg for third in program history in the category.
- Brittany Anderson (East Chicago, Ind./Bishop Noll) had another strong match setting the ball, registering a .467 setting percentage as she tallied 21 assists, giving her 4,386 for her career.
- Cookerly paced Valpo with 12 digs, pushing her career total to 2,977 as she approaches the 3,000-dig milestone.
Valpo (18-7, 9-5 MVC) has just two weekends of regular season action remaining and will close out the home schedule next weekend at the ARC. The Beacons will take on Illinois State on Friday evening before facing Bradley on Saturday, with both matches starting at 6 p.m.