The Valpo volleyball team had a match point in the fourth set of Friday night’s match at the ARC against visiting UNI to extend its school-record start to the season, but the Panthers came back to take the set and eventually emerged 3-2 victors (14-25, 25-22, 18-25, 25-27, 15-9) in the MVC opener for both squads. The defeat snapped the Beacons’ 12-match winning streak to open the campaign.
How It Happened
- Valpo ran away with the first set early, going on an 8-1 run to open the match and cruising to the 1-0 lead from there.
- The second set featured a total of 10 tie scores, but the Beacons were never able to get over the hump and take the outright advantage. The latest tie came at 22-22 before UNI reeled off the final three points to even the match at 1-1.
- Valpo opened the third set on a 6-0 run, and after UNI closed to within 7-5, the Beacons scored six of the next seven points to push the lead back to six. The Panthers got no closer than five points the rest of the way in that frame as the Beacons pulled ahead in the match, 2-1.
- It looked like Valpo was on its way to a four-set win as a service ace from Emma Hickey (Granger, Ind./Penn) gave it a 20-13 lead late. UNI scored five of the next six to close to within 21-18, but as the teams traded sideouts, Valpo owned a 23-19 advantage.
- The Panthers came up with five consecutive points to pull in front, 24-23, and earn set point. Back-to-back hitting errors by UNI not only kept the set alive, but gave Valpo match point at 25-24. The Panthers posted three straight kills at that point, however, to earn the comeback win in the set and extend the match to a fifth frame.
- UNI led start to finish in the fifth set to close out the match.
Inside the Match
- Friday’s defeat was Valpo’s first of the season after opening the year with 12 straight wins. The 12-match winning streak is the fourth-longest in program history.
- The loss was Valpo’s first in a match in which it had a match point opportunity since Nov. 15, 2019 against Illinois State.
- The Beacons trailed their opponent in kills for the first time this year, as UNI held a 68-55 advantage in the category. Valpo actually out-paced the Panthers in kills through three sets, 41-39, but UNI enjoyed a 29-14 advantage in kills over the final two frames.
- Senior Maddy Boyer (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) broke her previous career high in kills, tallying 16 terminations on Friday and hitting .308.
- Both senior Bella Ravotto (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian) and sophomore Elise Swistek (LaPorte, Ind./New Prairie) posted double-doubles against the Panthers. Ravotto notched 10 kills and 11 digs, while Swistek registered her 10th career double-double with 12 kills and 18 digs.
- Redshirt freshman Addy Kois (Osceola, Ind./Penn) smashed her career best, dishing out 36 assists.
- Hickey continued her steady play at libero, recording a match-high 27 digs.
- Senior Rachel Speck (Whitmore Lake, Mich./Whitmore Lake) tied her career high with eight blocks as she was in on eight of Valpo’s 11 team blocks.
Valpo (12-1, 0-1 MVC) looks to rebound on Saturday when it hosts Drake at 5 p.m. The match can be seen live on ESPN3.