The Valpo volleyball team kicked off a four-match stretch on the road in fine fashion Friday evening in Terre Haute, Ind., sweeping host Indiana State (25-17, 25-18, 25-16). The Beacons’ block was strong throughout the match, as they racked up 13 total team blocks, nine of which senior Mallory Januski (Bourbonnais, Ill./Bradley-Bourbonnais) was part of to match the program’s single-match high in a three-set match in the 25-point era.
How It Happened
- Valpo gained control of the opening set with a mid-set run, going on a 6-1 spurt to turn a 7-6 edge into a 13-7 lead. Three different Beacons had kills during the run, which was capped by a service ace from senior Victoria Bulmahn (McCordsville, Ind./Mt. Vernon).
- Valpo’s lead never dropped under three points the rest of the way, and the Beacons eventually closed the opener on a kill by junior Elise Swistek (LaPorte, Ind./New Prairie).
- Another mid-set run was key for Valpo in the second set, as with the score tied 6-6, the Beacons scored nine of the next 12 points to pull out to a 15-9 lead. Fifth-year Bella Ravotto (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian) had four kills during the run.
- The Sycamores hung around and closed to within three late at 21-18, but another kill by Ravotto returned the serve to the Beacons and she served out the remainder of the set as Valpo went up 2-0 in the match.
- Indiana State had the better of the first part of set three and held a three-point lead at 11-8 before a massive Valpo run. The Beacons scored 14 of the next 16 points to completely turn the tables, with Januski being part of five rejections during that run.
- The result was academic from there, and Valpo was even able to get sophomore Claire Campbell (Warrensburg, Ill./Warrensburg-Latham) into the contest, where she picked up her second career kill.
Inside the Match
- Valpo’s block had its best performance of the season Friday, as the Beacons posted 13 team blocks for the second straight contest. This effort came in just three sets, though, tied for the second-most blocks in a three-set match in the 25-point era and the most in a sweep since 2017.
- Leading the stoppages at the net was Januski, who racked up a season-best nine blocks to become the third Valpo player in a sweep in the 25-point era to post nine rejections. She is the first to do so since Ellen Vanden Berg in a sweep at Loyola in 2011.
- Redshirt sophomore Sam Warren (Kentland, Ind./South Newton) set a career high with five blocks despite playing just two sets.
- Sophomore Maddie Moan (Woodstock, Ill./Woodstock [Milwaukee]) had her second straight stellar match in Friday’s win. Moan paced Valpo with nine kills — just one off the career best she set last time out — on .500 hitting and was part of a season-best three blocks as well.
- This was Valpo’s fourth win of the season where no player reached double digits in kills, a reflection of the Beacons’ balance on the attack.
- Just behind Moan’s nine kills was Ravotto, who notched eight kills to go with 10 digs. Swistek did not commit an attack error, hitting .304 with seven kills and 10 digs as well, while fifth-year Miranda Strongman (Wolverine Lake, Mich./Walled Lake Central [LIU]) needed just 11 swings to tally six kills, as she hit .545.
- Redshirt sophomore Addy Kois (Osceola, Ind./Penn) dished out 16 assists and Bulmahn registered 15 assists as they helped the Valpo offense hit .286 in the sweep, the team’s best mark in Valley play to date.
- The Beacons committed just eight attack errors to tie a season low, while the Sycamores hit just .075 and committed 27 attack errors.
- Sophomore Emma Hickey (Granger, Ind./Penn) led the Beacons’ back row with 11 digs.
Valpo (12-9, 4-4 MVC) goes for a sweep of its Indiana foes this weekend on Saturday evening when the Beacons take on Evansville at 5 p.m. The match can be seen live on ESPN+.