December 02, 20211st2nd3rdFinal
ButlerTeam StatsVALPO
0.117Hitting Pct.0.237
120Total Attacks118
Sheridan - 7
Grunze - 7
KillsRavotto - 11
McKelvey - 24
AssistsBulmahn - 18
McKelvey - 1
Grunze - 1
AcesRavotto - 2
Kinley - 15
DigsCookerly - 14
Davidson - 5
BlocksHart - 2
Boyer - 2
Valpo Sweeps Butler in First Round of NIVC; Set to Face Toledo Friday
Thursday, December 2, 2021
Valpo Sweeps Butler in First Round of NIVC; Set to Face Toledo Friday
Elise Swistek had seven kills and nine digs Thursday.

The Valpo volleyball team made quick work of longtime rival Butler in the first round of the 2021 NIVC Thursday evening at the ARC, sweeping the Bulldogs (25-23, 25-17, 25-16) for the third postseason victory in program history. With the win, the Beacons advance to face Toledo — five-set winners over Indiana State in Thursday’s first match — with a quarterfinal berth on the line Friday evening.

How It Happened

  • Valpo took control of the opening set on either side of the midway point, going on a 7-2 run to extend an 8-7 advantage to 15-9. Maddy Boyer (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) led the way during that spurt with three kills and was in on a block as well.
  • The Beacons were still in command with a six-point lead at 20-14 before Butler roared back with an 8-1 run to take a 22-21 lead late.
  • A Butler attack error tied things up at 22-all, and Boyer came up with another termination to return the lead to Valpo. Another error by the Bulldogs gave Valpo set point at 24-22, and on its second chance, the hosts closed out the opener thanks to a kill by Peyton McCarthy (Cincinnati, Ohio/Seton).
  • Kills from McCarthy and Elise Swistek (LaPorte, Ind./New Prairie) helped Valpo out to a 5-1 lead in set two as it would never trail.
  • Seven kills from five different players were part of a 12-3 stretch during which the Beacons extended their advantage to 18-8. The lead reached as many as 11 points, and a kill from Bella Ravotto (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian) eventually gave Valpo a 2-0 lead in the match.
  • It was the Bulldogs who jumped out to a quick 5-1 lead in set three, but a 9-1 run for Valpo soon after gave it the lead for good, turning an 8-4 disadvantage into a 13-9 edge.
  • Butler moved back within one at 14-13, but the combined play of McCarthy and Kara Cooper (LaPorte, Ind./LaPorte) put together the vital run which put the match away. The two players combined on a block and both had three kills apiece as part of a 7-1 spurt, the last two terminations coming from Cooper to push the lead out to 21-14. The Bulldogs would not string together consecutive points the rest of the way.

Inside the Match

  • The victory was the third in postseason history for the Valpo program. Valpo previously earned a pair of wins in the 2018 NIVC over Ball State and Miami (Ohio).
  • The win came in the 38th all-time meeting with the Beacons’ Indianapolis-based rivals. Longtime foes across all sports, the volleyball program now has two wins this calendar year over the Bulldogs to go with three wins by the football program.
  • The victory improved Valpo’s home record this season to 9-1, the best mark at the ARC since the 2009 squad went 10-1 at home.
  • Valpo bested Butler in the hitting percentage department Thursday, .237-.117, and out-killed the Bulldogs, 43-34. Unforced attack errors were the key, as despite being out-blocked 9-4, the Beacons committed just six more attack errors to Butler’s 16.
  • Ravotto continued her strong recent stretch on the attack, posting a match-high 11 kills while hitting .267. The junior has been in double figures in kills in four straight matches and five of the last six, and Valpo is 10-1 this season when she reaches double digits.
  • McCarthy hit at a .421 clip — her eighth match of the year hitting above .400 — with 10 kills to second Ravotto. It was McCarthy’s 19th match in double figures in kills this season.
  • Victoria Bulmahn (McCordsville, Ind./Mt. Vernon) picked up a double-double with 18 assists and 11 digs, while Brittany Anderson (East Chicago, Ind./Bishop Noll) tallied 16 assists.
  • Rylee Cookerly (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) paced Valpo with 14 digs, giving her 605 on the season and making her the only player in program history with four seasons of 600+ digs.
  • Cookerly pushed her career total to 3,119 digs, just 57 shy of the NCAA D-I record. She also cracked the D-I career top-20 for matches played with the 155th appearance of her Valpo career.

Next Up

Valpo (23-9) looks to advance to the NIVC quarterfinals for the second time in as many tournament appearances on Friday evening as it hosts Toledo. First serve is slated for 6 p.m. and the match can be seen live on ESPN+.