EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - Facing a nationally-ranked UNI squad, the University of Evansville volleyball team put up a solid effort on Saturday at Meeks Family Fieldhouse, dropping a 3-0 decision.
Mildrelis Rodriguez led everyone with 12 kills and 47 attempts. She also had 8 digs for the Purple Aces (6-12, 0-6 MVC). Rachel Tam had six kills. Cassie Brooks notched 16 digs on the night while Allana McInnis checked in with 23 helpers.
Piper Thomas and Karlie Taylor led the Panthers (16-4, 6-0 MVC) offense with 11 kills apiece while Heather Hook posted six kills and a game-high 34 assists.
UE held its ground in the first set. After the Panthers scooted out to a 10-5 lead, the Aces fought back to make it an 11-8 game. From there, UNI extended the advantage for a 25-16 win.
UNI started game two on a 5-2 stretch before Mildrelis Rodriguez ended the rally with a kill to bring the Aces back within two. The Panthers overcame that and pulled away as the game continued, winning by a 25-13 final.
In the third set, UNI looked like it would pull away for an easy win, but Evansville had other ideas. The Panthers jumped out to a 10-3 lead before Rodriguez helped UE make its way back. A 5-0 run set the Aces forward before they tied it up at 11-11.
After the Panthers scored four in a row to jump back up by a 15-11 score, UE once again reeled off four straight to knot the score. Despite the momentum gained by the Aces, UNI was able to hang on as they pulled back ahead for a 25-19 win to clinch the match in three sets.
On Monday, the Aces will wrap up the home stand with another 7 p.m. tilt against Bradley at Meeks Family Fieldhouse.