EVANSVILLE, Indiana (WFIE) - Missouri Valley Conference play is set to begin this weekend for the University of Evansville volleyball team as the Purple Aces welcome Loyola and Valparaiso to Meeks Family Fieldhouse this weekend before traveling to Drake on Monday.
UE faces the Ramblers on Friday before the Crusaders come to town on Saturday; the Aces then take to the road for a Monday evening match in Des Moines; all three matches are set to begin at 7 p.m. Last weekend, the Aces finished up the non-conference slate at the Flyer Invitational in Dayton, Ohio. Rachel Tam was named to the All-Tournament Team for her efforts, which included 15 kills against the Flyers.
With a total of 229 kills in non-conference play, Tam ranks fourth in the nation and paces the MVC. She is 9th in the nation in total points with 244.5 on the season. Tam was named to the All-Tournament Team last weekend at Dayton, posting a total of 36 kills in the three matches; her effort in Dayton came on the heels of a 25-kill match against Tennessee State.
Mildrelis Rodriguez had a nice weekend in Dayton, posting 2.60 kills per set and 1.40 digs per game. Elizabeth Giller was third on the team with 1.33 kills/set and was followed by the duo of Alondra Vazquez and Kerra Cornist. Vazquez paced the team at the Flyer Invitational with 2.90 digs.
Loyola comes into the conference opener with a record of 8-4 after picking up a win over DePaul last weekend. Elle Van Grinsven and Heather Kocken are in the top ten in the league in hitting, ranking 7th and 10th, respectively. Quinn Spieker leads the Ramblers with 2.79 kills per set.
Valparaiso has gotten off to a strong 13-2 start in its first 14 matches with its only losses coming to Fresno State and #20 Michigan. Last weekend, they won the Crusader Classic, defeating Cornell, Western Illinois and Wright State. Brittany Anderson is second in the MVC with 10.95 assists per game while Sydney Bronner is second in the league, hitting .358.
Drake is off to a solid 11-3 start heading into the weekend and are coming off of a hard-fought 3-1 loss at Kansas on Tuesday. They open conference play on Friday against UNI before welcoming UE on Monday. Cathryn Cheek is tops on the team with 3.05 kills per game while Elle Tubbs ranks third in the league hitting .322.
Courtesy: UE Athletics