After falling behind two sets to none, the Valpo volleyball team attempted to put together one of its trademark rallies to come from behind for a victory Friday, but host Bradley thwarted the comeback attempt in extra points in the fourth set as the Beacons fell to the Braves by a 3-1 (25-19, 25-18, 19-25, 24-26) final.
How It Happened
- The first set’s decisive moment came around the halfway mark, as Bradley scored six straight points to go up 14-8. Valpo cut the deficit to three points four times after that point, the latest coming at 22-19, but the Braves scored the final three points of the set to claim the opener.
- The second set was Bradley’s from the start, as the Braves scored the first four points and extended their lead to double figures at 15-5. Valpo came back with eight of the next 10 points to close to within 17-13, but was unable to get any closer than four the rest of the way.
- The third set saw the two squads vie for control, as it contained nine ties and three lead changes. Through the first half of the frame, it was Bradley maintaining a narrow lead.
- With the Braves up 15-12, Valpo unleashed a seven-point spurt to take control. The 7-0 run featured two kills and a block from fifth-year middle Peyton McCarthy (Cincinnati, Ohio/Seton) and two kills by junior right side Kara Cooper (LaPorte, Ind./LaPorte), the second of which forced Bradley’s second timeout of the set with Valpo up 19-15.
- Kills from junior right side Maddy Boyer (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) ended three of the final six rallies in the third set, including Valpo’s second set point chance as the Beacons sent the match to a fourth set.
- Again in the fourth frame, the two teams battled to take control. Valpo put together the first big run of the set, scoring five in a row to take a 15-11 lead.
- It was still a 19-15 lead for Valpo before four straight from Bradley evened things up at 19-all. After the teams traded sideouts, however, Valpo scored four of the next five — two coming courtesy of kills from freshman Elise Swistek (LaPorte, Ind./New Prairie) — to earn set point at 24-21.
- On the verge of forcing a fifth set, where they’ve dominated all season, the Beacons fell victim to one final Bradley run, as the Braves scored the final five points of the match to close out a four-set win.
Inside the Match
- The defeat was just Valpo’s second of the year when claiming at least one set, as it entered Friday 13-1 when winning at least one set.
- McCarthy moved into sixth place in program history in career blocks with a rejection late in the third set. She tied for team-high honors Friday with four blocks, to go with 10 kills, and ended the night with 390 career blocks.
- Fifth-year setter Brittany Anderson (East Chicago, Ind./Bishop Noll) dished out 22 assists Friday and now owns 4,234 career assists, just 22 away from cracking the top-20 in MVC history in the category.
- Boyer tallied a team-high 11 kills on .304 hitting, her third career effort in double figures in the kills department.
- Swistek joined Boyer and McCarthy in double figures with 10 kills and matched her season high with 16 digs as well to finish with her third double-double of the year.
- Fifth-year libero Rylee Cookerly (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) tied for match-high honors with 23 digs, while junior Bella Ravotto (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian) added 14 digs.
Valpo (13-5, 4-3 MVC) closes out the weekend Saturday night at Illinois State with a 7 p.m. first serve. The match can be seen live on ESPN3.