Tournament berth on the line in final weekend

Aces set to play Bradley and Illinois State
Published: Nov. 20, 2019 at 4:47 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) -A berth in the 2019 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament is on the line this weekend when the Purple Aces volleyball team travels to Bradley and Illinois State. UE takes on the Braves on Friday at 6 p.m. before facing the Redbirds on Saturday at 5 p.m. in Normal, Ill.

So What Needs to Happen?

- There are several ways the Aces can clinch a spot in the first MVC Tournament since 2008

- The Aces can punch their ticket with a win

- If Indiana State loses either match this weekend, the Aces would clinch

- The final way is if Missouri State defeats Southern Illinois on Friday

Weekend Recap

- Evansville split its final home weekend of the season

- On Friday, UE defeated Missouri State by a 3-1 final with Alondra Vazquez setting her career mark with 29 kills

- Melanie Feliciano added 22 while Gabriela Macedo recorded 34 digs and Allana McInnis added 56 assists

- Saturday’s Senior Night saw Southern Illinois pick up the win over the Aces in five sets

- As a team, the Aces had a program record of 126 digs with Macedo tallying 33 and Vazquez posting 24

- Rachel Tam and Feliciano each set career highs with 23 and 21, respectively

- Feliciano led the offense with 21 kills

Top Rankings

- UE is not only near the top of the conference rankings in several categories, but is also impressive on a national scale

- With 39.65 attacks per set, the Aces offense ranks third in the nation

- The top four schools in that statistic are all from the Missouri Valley Conference

- Led by Gabriela Macedo’s 6.06 digs per set, the Aces average 18.37 per game

- That total is 4th in the NCAA and second in the Valley

- Macedo’s tally paces the MVC and is 5th in the country

- Individually, Melanie Feliciano is second in the Valley with 4.22 kills per set; she ranks 32nd in the nation in that stat and is the #3 freshman

- Feliciano’s season total of 493.0 points is 27th in the country

- UE’s freshman is 19th in the NCAA in total kills with 456 while Rachel Tam is tied for 45th with a total of 409

- Allana McInnis is third in the conference with 10.79 assists per set; her average is 36th in the NCAA while her total of 1,164 helpers in 2019 is the 10th-highest tally in the NCAA

- Hannah Watkins paces UE with 1.00 blocks per game; that is fifth in the MVC

Digging into the Record Book

- UE senior Gabriela Macedo registered her 655th dig of the season on Saturday against Southern Illinois

- It is just one off of the single-season program mark of 656, which was set by Julie Walroth in 2007

- Macedo’s season is 15th-best in MVC history and just 22 more digs would put her in the top 10

- She currently ranks fifth in the NCAA with her season dig average

Record-Breaking Freshman

- Freshman Melanie Feliciano broke the Evansville program record for kills in a season by a freshman last weekend

- Her season total of 456 passed Jessica Kiefer’s record of 434, which came in 1997

- Feliciano had one of her best conference weekends, averaging 4.78 kills as she had 22 against Missouri State and 21 versus the Salukis

- The MVC recognized her on Nov. 18 with her fourth Freshman of the Week honor

Scouting the Opposition

- Bradley enters the final weekend of the regular season standing at 13-14 overall and 9-7 in conference action

- Hannah Thompson has a team-best 3.16 kills per set while Rachel Pranger is just behind her with 2.98

- Thompson also holds the team lead in digs, recording an average of 4.68 per set

- Illinois State stands with a 17-11 overall mark and have won 10 of their 16 league matches

- Kaylee Martin anchors the offense with 3.98 kills per set; she has a total of 450 per season

- Stef Jankiewicz has notched 10.98 assists per set and enters play with 1,109 on the year

- Kendal Meier sits atop the Redbird squad with 4.42 digs

Courtesy: UE Athletics

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