November 10, 20231st2nd3rd4thFinal
0.25Hitting Pct.0.081
164Total Attacks172
Oberpriller - 22
KillsRavotto - 12
Beagle - 24
AssistsBulmahn - 24
Bush - 3
AcesJanuski - 1
Wills - 25
DigsHickey - 24
Rewerts - 8
BlocksBlackketter - 6

November 11, 20231st2nd3rd4thFinal
0.211Hitting Pct.0.172
152Total Attacks145
Tjernagel - 12
KillsRavotto - 12
Swistek - 12
Alden - 40
AssistsBulmahn - 20
Powers - 3
AcesBulmahn - 2
Powers - 17
DigsHickey - 20
Green - 5
BlocksJanuski - 3
Blackketter - 3
Warren - 3
Volleyball Closes Out Home Slate This Weekend
Wednesday, November 8, 2023
Volleyball Closes Out Home Slate This Weekend

Valparaiso (18-10, 10-5 MVC)
Friday, Nov. 10 - Drake (20-7, 13-2 MVC) - 5 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 11 - UNI (21-6, 15-0 MVC) - 6 p.m.

Next Up For Valpo Volleyball: It's the final weekend of home action at the ARC for the Valpo volleyball team this weekend, as the Beacons take on the top two teams in the MVC standings. Valpo faces off with Drake on Friday evening for the program's #oneVALPO match and then celebrates its seniors on Saturday night in the Senior Night match versus UNI.

Previously: Valpo extended its road winning streak in Valley play to six consecutive matches, rallying from down two sets to earn a 3-2 win at Bradley before capping the weekend with a 3-1 victory at Illinois State.

Looking Ahead: The regular season concludes Wednesday evening at UIC. The MVC Tournament begins Sunday, Nov. 19 at Missouri State.

Following the Beacons: Both of this weekend's matches will be broadcast live on ESPN+. Links for the live video and stats are available via

Head Coach Carin Avery: In her 22nd season as head coach at Valparaiso, Carin Avery is the all-time winningest head coach across all sports in the history of Valpo Athletics. She has won 489 matches (489-238, .673) at the helm of the program and has led Valpo to three league regular season and tournament titles. The program has made six postseason appearances under Avery, including three NCAA Tournament appearances, and advanced to the championship match of the 2021 NIVC. Avery has coached 60 All-League recipients over her tenure at Valpo, which has spanned three different conferences. She is Valpo’s all-time leader in both victories and winning percentage, and owns a 544-262 (.675) record overall as a head coach.

Series History: Drake - Valpo is 13-6 all-time against the Bulldogs, including an 12-5 mark under Avery and a 9-4 record since joining the Valley. Valpo had won six in a row in the series before Drake snapped that streak in the second matchup last season, and the Bulldogs earned a 3-1 win in Des Moines in this season's first meeting. Emma Hickey posted 28 digs in that match.

UNI - The Panthers hold a 17-4 advantage all-time over Valpo, including a three-set win earlier this season in Cedar Falls. The Beacons' middles had strong performances in that contest, as Mallory Januski tallied 12 kills on .435 hitting and Miranda Strongman recorded nine kills on .471 hitting.

Scouting the Opposition: Drake - The Bulldogs come into the ARC in second place in the MVC standings, with a 13-2 record in Valley play and a 20-7 overall mark. Jada Wills leads all Valley players with 5.91 digs/set, while Haley Bush recently became the Bulldogs' all-time leader in career kills.

UNI - The Panthers look to clinch the MVC regular season title this weekend, as they come into the weekend a perfect 15-0 within the Valley and 21-6 overall. Emily Holterhaus averages a team-best 3.77 kills/set, while Kira Fallert is right behind her with 3.43 kills/set. Defensively, Olivia Tjernagel ranks among the MVC leaders with 1.11 blocks/set.

Valpo Picked Sixth in Preseason Poll: Valpo has been picked to finish in sixth place in the Missouri Valley Conference in 2023, according to preseason polling of the conference’s head coaches. The Beacons accumulated 73 points in the polling to come in at sixth position, outpacing Illinois State by two points. UNI claimed seven of 12 first-place votes and nipped Drake by two points for the top spot in the poll.

Looking Back at Last Season: The Beacons enjoyed another successful season in 2022, finishing the campaign with a 22-11 overall record. Valpo posted a 9-9 mark in MVC play to finish in sixth place in the newly-expanded 12-team conference and won a match at the MVC Tournament for its fourth straight appearance. The Beacons earned an at-large bid to the 2022 NIVC, their third showing in the tournament in the last five seasons. After a record-setting rookie campaign, freshman libero Emma Hickey was named a Second Team All-MVC and MVC All-Freshman Team honoree.

What's Back: Valpo returns plenty of experience from last year's squad, as 11 letterwinners are back this year, including four starters plus the libero. In all, 98% of the assists, 89.3% of the digs, 62.7% of the blocks and 60.9% of the kills from last season are back in 2023.

Who's New: Joining the 11 returnees on this year's team are six players looking to make an impact in their first season as Valpo. The sextet includes four true freshmen and two transfers - one fifth-year grad transfer and one sophomore.

Top of the Charts: With Valpo's win over Purdue Fort Wayne to close out nonconference action, head coach Carin Avery surpassed Valpo Athletics Hall of Fame member Emory Bauer for the most wins by a Valpo head coach across all sports in department history.

Bauer amassed his victories over three different sports, collecting 361 wins in 28 seasons as head coach of the baseball program, 109 victories in 22 years guiding the football team and eight wins in one season as men’s basketball head coach.

Avery’s record total, meanwhile, has obviously come all at the helm of the Valpo volleyball program. In her 22nd season as head coach, Avery’s teams have averaged better than 22 wins per year in her first 21 years guiding the program. Valpo has finished with a winning record 19 times and has posted 20 or more victories 17 times. Under Avery, Valpo has posted the six winningest seasons in program history, including a program-best 29 wins in 2004.

Celebrating the Seniors: Valpo will recognize seven members of its program for Senior Day this weekend, a class which has helped the program maintain its status as one of the conference's most consistent and successful programs. The longest-tenured member of the class is Bella Ravotto, who is completing her fifth season at Valpo. Mallory Januski and Victoria Bulmahn have both been here for four years. Miranda Strongman and Olivia Blackketter have spent the last two years as Beacons, while Laura Ilizastigui joined the program prior to this season. Valpo will also recognize Gretchen Kuckkan, who missed out on competing this year due to injury.

Tournament Berth Secured: The win over Illinois State on Saturday clinched Valpo's berth in this year's eight-team MVC Tournament. The Beacons are also in good shape for a potential top-four finish, which would give them a first-round bye in the tournament, as they enter the weekend all alone in third place, one game ahead of a two-way tie for fourth.

Winning Tradition Continues: Valpo's win Friday night at Bradley secured a winning 2023 season, the 20th winning season in 22 years under head coach Carin Avery. The Beacons are also just two wins shy of the 20-win milestone, which would be the 18th 20-win campaign in Avery's 22 seasons.

Strong Run of Results: The Beacons are in the midst of eight victories in their last nine matches, vaulting Valpo up the MVC standings from ninth place to third place. Included in this stretch was a six-match winning streak, the program's longest since joining the Valley. The last time Valpo won eight matches in a nine-match span in league play came back in 2013, when it started off Horizon League action 8-1 through its first nine matches.

Road Warriors: In this stretch, Valpo has posted a perfect 6-0 record on the road, earning road wins at Indiana State, Evansville, Southern Illinois, Missouri State, Bradley and Illinois State. It is the program’s first time winning any six true road matches in a row since the 2014 season. It is the first time Valpo has won six consecutive conference road matches since the 2004 team went a perfect 7-0 away from home in Mid-Continent Conference play.

Another Milestone Approaches: Junior outside Elise Swistek is on the verge of cracking four figures for career digs, as she enters the weekend with 977 career digs to her credit. Remarkably, Swistek would become the third Beacon this season to hit the 1,000-dig milestone, joining Emma Hickey and Victoria Bulmahn. Should Swistek reach the mark, Valpo would have 26 players all-time with 1,000 or more digs, four of whom are currently active, as Bella Ravotto is also a member of that club.

But I'm About to Play My Ace: The Beacons made their mark on the program's record book last Friday against Bradley, racking up 11 service aces in the win over the Braves - tied for the most aces in a five-set match in the 25-point era. Addy Kois had three aces in that match, continuing her recent strong form at the service line, as she has tallied 10 service aces over Valpo's last three matches.

Climbing the Digs Chart: Both fifth-year outside Bella Ravotto and sophomore libero Emma Hickey continue to climb the program's career digs chart. Ravotto, who moved into the top-10 in program history for career digs last month, enters this weekend with 1,598 career digs - just 55 shy of Sarah Dooms in seventh position. Meanwhile, Hickey - who became the fastest player in program history and MVC history to 1,000 career digs earlier this season - now owns 1,270 career digs, is already up to 17th in program history in the category and is just 19 digs away from the top-15 in Valpo history.

All-Tournament Team Honorees: Six different Valpo players made nine All-Tournament Teams in the season's first four weekends:
Purdue Fort Wayne Invitational - Emma Hickey, Mallory Januski
Stacheville Challenge - Januski, Miranda Strongman
Popcorn Classic - Bella Ravotto (MVP), Olivia Blackketter, Januski
EIU Volleyball Invitational - Strongman, Sam Warren

Three Times the Fun: Parse the previous list and you'll see senior middle Mallory Januski picking up a trio of All-Tournament Team honors this season. It is the first time a Valpo player has earned spots on three All-Tournament teams in the same season since Allison Ketcham did so in 2018. But, one of Ketcham's honors came in the postseason at the MVC Tournament - Januski is the first Valpo player in the Carin Avery era to receive three All-Tournament Team spots from solely early-season, preconference tournaments.

A Balanced Attack: Last year's Valpo team was notable for its balance on the attack, and this year's squad has been no different. Elise Swistek's 2.51 kills/set leads the Beacons, but ranks just 23rd overall among Valley players. Five regulars are averaging between 1.83 and 2.51 kills/set.

Capturing Crowns: The Beacons' triumph in the Popcorn Classic added yet another crown to the program's trophy case. Valpo has now won 34 in-season tournament titles in head coach Carin Avery's time at the helm of the program. The team has won at least one tournament in 17 of her seasons, and multiple tournaments 11 times. Those tournament titles have come in 14 different states.

Another 20-Win Campaign: It's a milestone that has become routine for the program, yet still impressive in its totality - Valpo finished with 22 wins in 2022 and has now won 20 or more matches in 17 of Carin Avery's 21 seasons as head coach. Even more remarkably, one of the four seasons Valpo didn't reach 20 wins was the shortened spring 2021 campaign, when the program played just 20 matches total. The Beacons also secured their 19th winning season in Avery’s 21 seasons at the helm.

Top Half Finishes: In addition to the 20-win season, the Beacons also secured a top-half finish in the MVC standings as they finished in sixth place in the 12-team conference. Valpo has now finished in the top-half of the Valley standings in each of its six years in the conference, the only MVC program to accomplish that feat - Illinois State had finished top-half each of the last five years, but dropped out of the top-six in 2022. Going back further, Valpo has posted top-half conference finishes in 20 of Avery's 21 seasons - as well as qualifying for the conference tournament in each of her 21 seasons - and 29 of the last 30 years overall.

Digging Deep: Valpo continued its long tradition of strong back row play last fall, finishing 10th nationally and leading the MVC with 17.27 digs/set. The program has ranked among the top-30 nationally in digs/set in each of the last 12 seasons, highlighted by the 2017 campaign in which it led the nation with 20.03 digs/set. Other top finishes include third nationally in the spring 2021 season (20.37/set), a fourth-place rank in 2010 and a sixth-place finish in 2015. Since the move to 25-point scoring, only seven teams have averaged more than 20 digs/set over the course of a season, and Valpo is the only program to have done it twice. 2018 saw Valpo lead the nation with 2,613 total digs - a mark which set a program single-season record and a Division I record in the 25-point era.

Hickey Sets New Standards: Emma Hickey made an immediate impact on Valpo’s backcourt and the record books in her rookie season. She set Valpo and MVC freshman record for digs in a season, finishing with 735 total digs, and led the Valley and ranked fourth nationally with 5.70 digs/set. No D-I freshman was within 200 digs of her season total, while it was tied for the second-most digs by a D-I freshman in the last 12 seasons. Her 735 digs are tied for fourth overall on Valpo’s single-season chart and rank sixth in MVC history as well.

Januski Runs the Middle: Senior middle Mallory Januski bided her time behind a pair of All-Conference middles in her first two seasons at Valpo, but given the opportunity in 2022 to run with a starting role, Januski took full advantage. She led Valpo and ranked fourth in the Valley with a .353 hitting percentage, a mark which smashed the program's single-season record. Januski also ranked seventh in the Valley with 0.98 blocks/set, tallying 122 total blocks — seventh-most by a Valpo player in the 25-point era. That total includes a monster 13-block performance at Murray State, a program record for the 25-point era.