The Valpo volleyball team looked poised to extend its winning streak to seven straight matches Saturday night at the ARC as the Beacons took the first two sets, but visiting Murray State turned the tables after intermission, winning the final three sets as Valpo fell by a 3-2 (22-25, 20-25, 25-21, 25-23, 15-12) final.
How It Happened
- The decisive fifth set saw Murray State hold a slight lead through the first half of the frame. The Racers got their lead to two points at 6-4 and still led at 8-7.
- The Beacons scored four of the next five points following the media timeout, capped by a service ace from Addy Kois (Osceola, Ind./Penn) to turn the tables and take an 11-9 lead. But MSU ended the match on a 6-1 run to compete its comeback.
- The opening set was tied late at 20-20 before Valpo scored five of the final seven points of the frame — including a kill and a block from both Bella Ravotto (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian) and Mallory Januski (Bourbonnais, Ill./Bradley-Bourbonnais) — to claim the set.
- Valpo led by as many as six points in the middle stages of set two, and after Murray State closed to within two at 19-17, the Beacons reeled off four points in a row to keep control. A kill by Elise Swistek (LaPorte, Ind./New Prairie) on Valpo’s second set point chance gave the Beacons a 2-0 lead in the match.
- The Beacons nearly fought all the way back from a seven-point deficit in set three, closing to within one at 20-19 on a service ace by Abby Boyle (Byron Center, Mich./Byron Center). But the Racers scored five of the set’s final seven points to extend the match.
- Valpo tried to put together a furious rally for an epic comeback win in the fourth set, as trailing 21-12, the Beacons scored eight of the next 10 points to close to within 23-20. MSU picked up a kill to get to set point, but the Beacons were able to successfully hold off three set point chances to get the score to 24-23. The Racers eventually picked up a kill on their fourth set point, however, to send the match to the fifth set.
Inside the Match
- The loss snapped Valpo’s six-match winning streak in Valley play.
- Valpo lost a five-set match for the first time since the season’s opening weekend, as the Beacons had won their last three matches which went the distance.
- Swistek paced the Valpo attack with a career-best 17 kills and also picked up 20 digs for the 20th double-double of her collegiate career.
- Ravotto came up with 13 kills and tallied 14 digs as well.
- Kois handed out a season-high 29 assists, tied her career best with four service aces and registered 10 digs.
- Victoria Bulmahn (McCordsville, Ind./Mt. Vernon) posted her 40th career double-double as she notched 25 assists and a season-high 19 digs.
- Emma Hickey (Granger, Ind./Penn) led Valpo’s back-row effort with 28 digs.
- Miranda Strongman (Wolverine Lake, Mich./Walled Lake Central [LIU]) matched her season best defensively with eight blocks, while Januski and Olivia Blackketter (Bloomington, Ind./Bloomington South [Winthrop]) each tallied four rejections.
- As a team, Valpo registered 12 blocks on Saturday — the fifth time in the last seven matches the Beacons have hit double figures in rejections.
Valpo (16-10, 8-5 MVC) returns to the road next weekend for the swing through central Illinois, beginning next Friday night at 6 p.m. at Bradley. The match can be seen live on ESPN+.