SPRINGFIELD, MO. (WFIE) - It was a big night for the University of Evansville volleyball team as the Purple Aces earned a 3-1 road win at Missouri State. The win halted a 12-match skid against the Bears while the huge weekend MVC road sweep saw the Purple Aces move into a tie for 4th place in the league with a 3-game lead on 7th place. The top six squads advance to the conference tournament.
“We were expecting a good weekend after what we saw in practice during the week,” Aces coach Fernando Morales commented after the win. “I think we were putting too much pressure on ourselves over the last couple of matches. The girls worked hard, had fun and we saw the results.”
Leading UE (14-5, 5-3 MVC) was Alondra Vazquez, who recorded 14 kills and had another double-double with 21 digs. Melanie Feliciano notched 13 kills on the night. Gabriela Macedo led everyone with 32 digs while Allana McInnis had a match-high 39 assists. Patricia Joseph added three blocks in the winning effort.
Missouri State (5-17, 2-6 MVC) saw Amelia Flynn finish with 18 kills while Laynie Dake had 17.
Evansville made its first big push in the opening frame, posting seven in a row when trailing 8-7. Feliciano had a pair of kills in the run while McInnis added flawless serving. MSU overcame the 14-8 deficit to tie the match up at 16-16 with an 8-2 run. After the Aces retook a 19-16 advantage on a Cecilia Thon ace, Missouri State rallied once again to tie it at 20-20, but an MSU service error gave UE the lead for good and they hung on for a 25-23 win to open the night.
In the second frame, a furious run by the Bears saw them tie the match at 1-1. With the score tied at 8-8, MSU finished the set on a 17-5 run to take a 25-13 win. The Aces rebounded in a big way in game three, opening up an 8-4 lead. They would never let the Bears threaten in the set as UE retook a 2-1 lead with a 25-18 decision. Missouri State got within a pair at 9-7, but a kill by Vazquez put UE back on track and they pulled away from there.
The fourth set saw the Aces get off to another 8-4 lead with Macedo posting a service ace to open the frame. Missouri State chipped away at the deficit before eventually tying it up at 15-15. Evansville came back to score the next two and never relinquished the lead from there as they took the set by a 25-22 final to clinch a 3-1 win in the match.
Following the road trip, the Aces will return home for another big weekend of league action. UE welcome Drake to Meeks Family Fieldhouse for a 6 p.m. tilt on Friday before facing UNI in a 5 p.m. contest on Saturday.