Purple Aces split final day of Dunn Hospitality Invitational - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Purple Aces split final day of Dunn Hospitality Invitational

(UE) (UE)

In the second and final day of action at the Dunn Hospitality Invitational, the University of Evansville volleyball team opened the day with a 3-2 win over UAB before falling to UT Martin by a 3-1 final in the nightcap at Meeks Family Fieldhouse.

Following the tournament, Allana McInnis was named the Purple Aces representative on the All-Tournament Team.

"It was a good tournament performance overall. We are continuing to get the opportunity to rotate people and see them compete and contribute on pressure situations. We like the fact that no matter of who is in, the system stays consistent, and we are able to play at a high level," Evansville head coach Manolo Concepcion said.  "We know that our offense will continue to improve, especially because our ball control has demonstrated that it can keep in the game against anyone."

"I am extremely impressed with Allana McInnis' constant progress, and how she is achieving it," he continued.  "This award is attributed to the hours that she has spent analyzing and studying her craft in order to get better. The good problem that we have now is that we know that there is still a lot of room to improve, and that we are far from our potential. Now, we go back and watch film these next days, train with mindfulness, and prepare for what will be another high level tournament next weekend."

Rachel Tam set a career mark with 22 kills in the opening match of the day versus UAB.  She also added 16 digs and two block assists.  Cathy Schreiber notched 13 kills while Mildrelis Rodriguez and Rocio Fortuny registered nine apiece.  Allana McInnis notched 47 helpers while Rodriguez led the squad with 18 digs.

UAB start the match off with two quick points before the Aces rallied back with five in a row.  Rachel Tam had a kill and Cathy Schreiber was credited with an ace in that stretch.  After UAB retook the lead at 9-7, Evansville punched back once again, taking a 15-11 advantage.  Schreiber kept it going, adding another of her seven kills in the set before Rocio Fortuny closed out a 25-21 win with her second kill.

The Aces kept it rolling in a hard-fought second set.  The Blazers held a late 21-19 lead, but a pair of Tam tallies helped UE tie it up at 22-22.  UAB retook a 24-23 lead on a Gabby Deshotel kill, but Evansville was able to fight back for a 26-24 win.  Mildrelis Rodriguez had two kills in the final three points.

After the Blazers regained the momentum with a 25-23 win in the third and 25-20 victory in the fourth, a fifth and deciding set ensued.  UE scored the first three tallies, but UAB came back to make it an 8-8 contest.  Schreiber gave UE the lead for good with a service ace and Tam added two more kills as UE took the match with a 15-12 win.

Schreiber was the leader for UE in the second match, notching 13 kills while Tam finished with 10.

Rodriguez led the way in the first game of the UT Martin matchup as Evansville rallied for a 27-25 win.  The Skyhawks had the early edge as they took an 11-5 lead on back-to-back Hayley Gray kills.  UE made its way back, tying it up at 17-17, but UTM had the answer, retaking a 23-20 lead.  Following a time out, the Aces roared back in a big way, taking the win thanks to a 7-2 run.

UT Martin had its way in the second set, erasing a 9-7 deficit to take a 25-18 win.  The Skyhawks earned the win thanks to a 10-6 run.  They took control in the third game with a 25-14 win before setting the tone early in the 4th, jumping out to a 5-0 lead before extending it to 13-6.  Evansville never gave up as an Adeline Payne kill helped UE cut the deficit to 18-16 before two Schreiber kills helped tie it up at 19 all. 

Rachel Tam had another pivotal play as her kill gave UE a 21-20 edge.  The Skyhawks once again had the answer.  Three in a row was the difference as they took a 25-22 triumph to clinch the match.

Following an exciting opening weekend, UE heads to the Ball State/Butler Tournament next weekend, taking on Ball State, Butler and Duquesne.

Courtesy: Evansville Athletics

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