The Valpo volleyball team had its four-match winning streak come to an end at the hands of host Drake Friday evening in Des Moines, Iowa, as the Bulldogs earned a 3-1 (25-17, 25-27, 25-14, 25-17) victory.
How It Happened
- The first set was tied at 6-6 before Drake went on an 11-1 run to take control.
- Valpo jumped out on top in the second set, as back-to-back service aces by junior Victoria Bulmahn (McCordsville, Ind./Mt. Vernon) and two blocks from senior Miranda Strongman (Wolverine Lake, Mich./Walled Lake Central [LIU]) were part of a five-point spurt which had the Beacons ahead 9-4.
- Valpo’s lead reached its peak at six points, but with the advantage 14-8, the Bulldogs stormed back with eight consecutive points to pull ahead. Drake extended its lead to as many as six points itself and was up by six at 23-17, just two points from taking a 2-0 lead.
- Incredibly, the Beacons reeled off seven points in a row — three coming on kills by senior Bella Ravotto (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian) — to rally and pull ahead for a set point chance at 24-23. Drake held off that Valpo set point opportunity and another at 25-24, but after a kill from senior Gretchen Kuckkan (Lafayette, Ind./Central Catholic [Indiana State]) gave the Beacons a third chance at 26-25, the Bulldogs committed an attack error and the match was knotted at one set apiece.
- Drake led from the outset in the third set, as the Bulldogs hit .412 for the set to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
- Valpo led in the early stages of the fourth frame, but could not get its lead above two points. The Beacons’ last edge came at 6-5, with the Bulldogs scoring the next six points to take the lead for good. Valpo was unable to get any closer than four points the rest of the way.
Inside the Match
- Friday’s match snapped Valpo’s four-match winning streak this season and also snapped the Beacons’ six-match winning streak in the series between the two programs.
- The loss dropped Valpo into a tie for third in the MVC standings.
- Drake limited the Beacons to .103 hitting on Friday evening, their second-lowest hitting percentage of the year. The hitting percentage was 159 points below what Valpo hit in its home win over the Bulldogs.
- Ravotto and Bulmahn both finished with double-doubles on Friday. Ravotto led the Beacons with 11 kills and added 15 digs, while Bulmahn recorded 15 assists and 14 digs.
- Redshirt freshman Addy Kois (Osceola, Ind./Penn) handed out a team-high 19 assists, while Strongman was in on four of Valpo’s five team blocks.
- Freshman Emma Hickey (Granger, Ind./Penn) paced Valpo with 24 digs, her 18th double-figure effort in 20 matches this year and the 15th time she’s tallied 20+ digs.
Valpo (17-3, 5-3 MVC) faces another stiff challenge on Saturday night as the Beacons head to Cedar Falls, Iowa to face first-place UNI, which has not dropped a conference match yet. No video broadcast will be available for the 7 p.m. match, but UNI will have a live audio broadcast.