The Valpo volleyball team fought into extra points to earn a set two win and even its match at Drake Saturday evening at one set apiece before the host Bulldogs took the final two frames as the Beacons fell 3-1 (20-25, 27-25, 14-25, 16-25).
How It Happened
- Trailing 10-8 in the opening set, two kills apiece from fifth-year outside Bella Ravotto (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian) and fifth-year middle Miranda Strongman (Wolverine Lake, Mich./Walled Lake Central [LIU]) were part of a 7-2 run which gave the Beacons a 15-12 lead at the media timeout.
- The Bulldogs went on a 5-1 spurt out of the stoppage, however, and Valpo never led outright again as Drake scored 13 of the set’s final 18 points to take the opener.
- Valpo gained control of the second set in the middle stages and extended its lead to as many as five points. But a 21-16 edge turned into just a one-point lead at 23-22 as Drake reeled off six out of eight points.
- A kill from senior Mallory Januski (Bourbonnais, Ill./Bradley-Bourbonnais) gave the Beacons set point at 24-22, but the Bulldogs held off both set point chances and earned a set point of their own with their third straight point to pull ahead, 25-24.
- Another Januski kill extended the set, however, and Ravotto followed by coming up with terminations on consecutive points to level the match at one set apiece.
- An early 8-2 run gave Drake control of set three, and the Bulldogs’ lead was at least three points the rest of the way that frame.
- Valpo was within one point at 9-8 in set four before Drake scored seven in a row to take control and finish off the match.
Inside the Match
- Drake limited Valpo to .076 hitting on Saturday, the Beacons’ third-worst hitting percentage of the season.
- Junior Elise Swistek (LaPorte, Ind./New Prairie) posted her fourth double-double of the year with 17 digs and a team-high 11 kills.
- Senior Victoria Bulmahn (McCordsville, Ind./Mt. Vernon) handed out a team-best 17 assists.
- Sophomore Emma Hickey (Granger, Ind./Penn) led the Beacons with 28 digs
- Januski matched her season high and led Valpo with five blocks.
Valpo (10-8, 2-3 MVC) returns home to the friendly confines of the ARC next weekend, beginning with a Friday night match against Illinois State at 6 p.m. which can be seen live on ESPN+.