The Valpo volleyball team completed a 2-0 weekend on the road at its fellow Hoosier State MVC foes Saturday evening from Evansville, Ind., defeating the host Purple Aces 3-1 (27-29, 25-22, 25-17, 25-19).
How It Happened
- Evansville jumped out to a quick lead in the first set and pushed its lead to six points at 12-6 nearing the halfway point.
- An 8-2 stretch from the Beacons erased the entirety of the Aces’ advantage and Valpo jumped in front for the first time since the early stages of the set at 16-15.
- Valpo had a pair of set point chances at 24-22, and after two straight Evansville points, again had attempts to win the frame at 25-24 and 26-25. But the Aces held off all four attempts and went on to close the opener on their first set point chance.
- Evansville took control of the second set after an early struggle for control, and after Valpo had rallied to take a 15-14 lead, the Purple Aces came back with four points in a row to go ahead 18-15.
- The Aces’ lead was still two at 20-18 before Valpo posted five straight points, capped by consecutive service aces from senior Victoria Bulmahn (McCordsville, Ind./Mt. Vernon), as the Beacons pulled ahead 23-20. The teams sided out from there, with a kill by senior Mallory Januski (Bourbonnais, Ill./Bradley- Bourbonnais) evening the match at one set apiece.
- UE held a pair of early one-point leads in set three, but fifth-year Miranda Strongman (Wolverine Lake, Mich./Walled Lake Central [LIU]) tallied three kills and a block as part of a 6-1 run which gave Valpo the lead for good at 8-4.
- Evansville stayed within striking distance, never letting the Beacons get more than a five-point lead and still remaining as close as three points late at 19-16. Valpo ended the set with a flourish, however, as another 6-1 run featured two kills from fifth-year Bella Ravotto (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian) and a kill and an ace from junior Elise Swistek (LaPorte, Ind./New Prairie) to give the Beacons a 2-1 lead in the match.
- The fourth set was all Valpo from the start, as redshirt sophomore Sam Warren (Kentland, Ind./South Newton) picked up two kills and a block as part of an 8-2 spurt to open the set.
- The Beacons’ lead reached as many as eight points, and while Evansville closed to within four at 23-19 late in the frame, kills by Swistek and Ravotto closed out the Valpo victory.
Inside the Match
- This is the second time Valpo has swept the Indiana road swing since joining the Valley.
- The Beacons are 6-1 against Evansville in their last seven meetings.
- Valpo hit at a .293 clip on Saturday, the team’s top mark in Valley play. The Beacons finished with a 61-49 edge in the kills department.
- Valpo tallied 10 team blocks in the win, the team’s third consecutive match in double figures in that department.
- Strongman led the varied attack with 15 kills out of the middle to tie her career best while hitting .500. She also tallied three blocks as well.
- Swistek was one kill off her career high, as she concluded the night with 14 kills to go with 16 digs.
- Warren was also just one termination away from her career best, needing just 16 swings to pick up 10 kills as she joined Strongman in hitting .500. The sophomore also registered three rejections.
- Ravotto rounded out the quartet of Beacons with double-figure kills with 10 of her own, narrowly missing a double-double as she picked up nine digs.
- Januski continued her Dikembe Mutumbo finger-wagging weekend at the net with a match-high seven blocks, one night after she tallied nine rejections.
- Despite only playing in three sets, senior Olivia Blackketter (Bloomington, Ind./Bloomington South [Winthrop]) finished with four blocks, just one off her season best.
- Bulmahn posted the 38th double-double of her career, dishing out a team-high 26 assists while picking up 10 digs.
Valpo (13-9, 5-4 MVC) continues its four-match road swing as it looks to push its winning streak to four straight matches Friday evening at Southern Illinois. First serve is slated for 6 p.m., with the match broadcast live on ESPN+.