NORMAL, Ill. (WFIE) - Rachel Tam and Alondra Vazquez recorded 12 kills apiece as the University of Evansville volleyball team finished the regular season with a 3-0 loss at Illinois State on Saturday evening.
UE’s duo combined for 24 kills in the contest. Allana McInnis had 19 assists while Rachel Tam lead the team with 10 digs. Gabriela Macedo added eight to her single season record tally. Kaylee Martin had a game-high 14 kills for the Redbirds.
Illinois State had its most dominant set to begin the evening, taking a 25-15 win. UE had a nice start to the set, jumping out to a 6-3 lead with Tam notching her first kill of the night. The defining moment came with the set tied at 11-11. ISU recorded five points in a row and pulled away to take a 1-0 lead.
Evansville stood strong in the second frame, holding a 14-12 advantage with Tam notching consecutive kills. It was another 5-0 run that helped the Redbirds; with the score knotted at 18-18, Illinois State would post the next five scores on their way to a 25-22 victory and a 2-0 lead.
In the third game, the Redbirds scooted out to a 15-8 lead on a Kendee Hilliard kill. Their lead would grow to as many as 10- points at 21-11 before the Aces made a comeback. Rachel Tam did the serving and Vazquez added a kill as UE cut the deficit to just five points at 21-16. ISU countered with a Kendal Meier ace and they would hang on to clinch the match on the strength of a 25-20 win.
For the first time since 2008, the Aces will be preparing for the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. UE has clinched either the #5 or #6 seed. The final spot, opponent and match time will be determined following the final conference matches tonight.