After five consecutive matches away from home, the Valpo volleyball team returned home to the ARC in style Sunday afternoon, earning a 3-0 (25-13, 28-26, 25-20) sweep over a Bradley squad which entered the series in second place in the MVC standings. A well-rounded team effort resulted in the Brown and Gold extending their winning streak to four consecutive matches, matching the program’s longest conference winning streak since joining the MVC.
How It Happened
- Jumping out to an 8-0 lead is typically a good recipe to win a set, and that’s what Valpo did in the opener Sunday on the serve of freshman Victoria Bulmahn (McCordsville, Ind./Mt. Vernon). Junior Haley Hart (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) had three kills and two blocks during the match-opening run.
- Valpo held at least a five-point lead the rest of the way in the opening set. The Brown and Gold hit .417 with 16 kills in the first frame and limited Bradley to just nine kills.
- The second set looked like Valpo was handily in control as it led by five points multiple times, the latest coming at 18-13. Bradley scored the next four, however, to make it a one-point set at 18-17.
- Valpo held off that advance by the Braves, though, and maintained its advantage all the way out to a 23-21 lead.
- But with just two points to go to claim the set, Valpo surrendered three straight to Bradley as the Braves rallied to earn set point at 24-23.
- A service error returned the serve to Valpo, and a kill from junior Jillie Grant (Maumee, Ohio/Anthony Wayne) gave Valpo its first set point at 25-24.
- Bradley held off that chance with a kill, and another kill by the Braves resulted in a second set point opportunity at 26-25.
- A kill by senior Peyton McCarthy (Cincinnati, Ohio/Seton) kept the set alive for Valpo, and following a Bradley error, Grant came through with another termination to close the second frame in Valpo’s favor.
- Valpo led set three from start to finish, and while it didn’t ever pull away like in the first set, the lead never fell under two points after the early stages.
- Valpo earned match point at 24-19, and on its second opportunity to finish the sweep, Hart came through with a kill to close the match.
Inside the Match
- Valpo’s four-match winning streak matches its longest since joining the MVC, tying the 4-0 start to the 2018 MVC slate. The Brown and Gold have not win five consecutive league matches since earning six straight Horizon League wins in 2013.
- The match was just Valpo’s second three-set affair of the year and its first within MVC play.
- Valpo’s balanced effort on Sunday saw all five primary hitters tally at least six kills. Hart led the way, hitting a career-best .565 with 14 kills — her 10th match with at least 10 kills this year — to go with four blocks.
- McCarthy joined Hart in double figures with 10 kills on .421 hitting and posted four blocks as well.
- Grant narrowly missed a double-double with nine kills and 11 digs, while Jaclyn Bulmahn (McCordsville, Ind./Mt. Vernon) notched eight kills on .318 hitting and added three blocks.
- Victoria Bulmahn dished out 43 assists in the win as Valpo hit a season-best .292 with 50 kills over the three sets. Bulmahn also tallied eight digs, her first match without a double-double in the last 11 thanks to it going the minimum three frames.
- Senior Rylee Cookerly (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) registered a match-high 19 digs, while sophomore Bella Ravotto (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian) — fresh off an MVC Defensive Player of the Week honor — picked up 15 digs.
- Valpo held advantages of 50-37 in the kills column and 71-61 in digs over Bradley, which hit just .146 for the match as its six-match winning streak came to an end.
Valpo (7-6, 6-5 MVC) looks to sweep the Braves on Monday afternoon at the ARC. First serve is set for 4 p.m., and all the action can be seen live on ESPN+ and heard live on WVUR (95.1 FM, Valparaiso). All the links for the live coverage will be available via ValpoAthletics.com.