October 13, 20231st2nd3rdFinal
Indiana St.1718160
0.286Hitting Pct.0.075
105Total Attacks120
Moan - 9
KillsHolland - 13
Kois - 16
AssistsHales - 31
Bulmahn - 2
Hickey - 11
DigsKaelin - 12
Januski - 9
BlocksScott - 2

October 14, 20231st2nd3rd4thFinal
VALPOTeam StatsEvans
0.293Hitting Pct.0.189
140Total Attacks143
Strongman - 15
KillsCardona - 19
Bulmahn - 26
AssistsRuff - 43
Ravotto - 2
Bulmahn - 2
Januski - 2
AcesCardona - 3
Swistek - 16
DigsCruz - 17
Januski - 7
BlocksSpringer - 5
Volleyball Set for Indiana Road Swing This Weekend
Wednesday, October 11, 2023
Volleyball Set for Indiana Road Swing This Weekend

Valparaiso (11-9, 3-4 MVC)
Friday, Oct. 13 - at Indiana State (2-15, 0-7 MVC) - 5 p.m. CT
Saturday, Oct. 14 - at Evansville (7-11, 2-5 MVC) - 5 p.m.

Next Up For Valpo Volleyball: The Valpo volleyball team hits the halfway mark of MVC action this weekend as the Beacons make the road swing downstate, playing at Indiana State on Friday evening before heading to Evansville on Saturday evening.

Previously: Valpo split a weekend of home matches at the ARC last weekend, falling in straight sets to Illinois State before rebounding with a five-set victory over Bradley.

Looking Ahead: The back half of four consecutive road matches awaits next weekend with the Southern Illinois/Missouri State road weekend.

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

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 482 matches (482-237, .670) 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 537-261 (.673) record overall as a head coach.

Series History: Indiana State - Valpo holds a narrow 17-16 edge in the all-time series with the Sycamores, but it has been a greater Valpo advantage under Coach Avery, as Valpo holds a 12-6 edge in her tenure and a 7-4 advantage since joining the Valley. The Beacons swept Indiana State with ease at the ARC in last season's lone meeting, highlighted by a 10-kill, 12-dig effort from Bella Ravotto.

Evansville - The Beacons hold a 15-13 advantage in the all-time series with the Purple Aces, but have dominated under Coach Avery, winning 13 of 16 meetings. Last season, however, it was Evansville which emerged victorious at the ARC in four sets.

Scouting the Opposition: Indiana State - The Sycamores come into Friday's match with a 2-15 overall record and still in search of their first Valley win at 0-7 in MVC action. Kira Holland leads ISU with 3.18 kills/set on the attack, while Macy Lengacher averages a team-best 3.44 digs/set.

Evansville - The Purple Aces, who play UIC on Friday prior to Saturday's contest, snapped a five-match losing streak last time out with a win over Indiana State, improving to 7-11 overall and 2-5 in Valley play. Giulia Cardona leads the nation on the attack, averaging 5.44 kills/set, and also ranks among the top-60 nationally in aces/set (0.46).

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.

Top 10 and 1,500: Fifth-year outside Bella Ravotto hit a pair of remarkable achievements in terms of back-row play last weekend. On Friday against Illinois State, Ravotto notched the 1,477th dig of her Valpo career, moving past Angie Nordquist into the top-10 in program history for career digs. Then, the last of her 17 digs Saturday in the win over Bradley was the 1,500th dig of her career. Looking ahead of Ravotto on the program's career digs chart, ninth (Karen Kulick; 1,527) and eighth (Lori Barton; 1,537) positions are both within reach for her this weekend.

Reaching 1K: Sophomore libero Emma Hickey hit a milestone in Valpo's home match with UIC early in the third set, picking up her 16th dig of the contest to reach 1,000 career digs. Hickey, the 24th player in Valpo volleyball history to hit four figures in digs, reached the milestone faster than any other player in Valpo history or in MVC history. Valpo previously had a pair of liberos surpass 1,000 digs in their respective 52nd career match - Taylor Root and Rylee Cookerly. Meanwhile, Cookerly had shared MVC fastest to 1,000 honors with Illinois State's Courtney Pence, who also hit the mark in 52 matches. Now owning 1,104 career digs, Hickey is already 22nd in program history in the category and is just 34 digs away from cracking the top-20 all-time at Valpo.

Right Sides Stand Out: Valpo's balanced attack in the win over Bradley was highlighted by career-best performances from a pair of right side hitters. Redshirt sophomore Sam Warren who tied her previous career high with nine kills on Friday night, bettered herself on Saturday with 11 kills while also setting a career high with seven digs and matching her career best with four blocks.
Meanwhile, sophomore Maddie Moan made the most of her opportunity against the Braves. Making her first appearance in MVC play, Moan started the second set at right side and took full advantage with 10 kills on 18 swings, hitting at a .556 clip. Not only did Moan double her previous career high of five kills, her .556 hitting percentage is tied for third-best at Valpo in a five-set match in the 25-point era.

Swinging Away: One season after setting Valpo's single-season record for hitting percentage, senior middle Mallory Januski has been just about as efficient on higher volume this year. Januski enters this weekend hitting at a .348 clip - good for fifth in the Valley - while averaging a team-best 2.55 kills/set. She has hit .400 or better eight times this season.

All-Tournament Team Honorees: Six different Valpo players combined for nine All-Tournament Team selections 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. Mallory Januski's 2.55 kills/set leads the Beacons, but ranks just 21st overall among Valley players. Five regulars are averaging between 1.82 and 2.55 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.