Volleyball ready for MVC Championship on Thursday

Aces face Illinois State in first round

Volleyball ready for MVC Championship on Thursday
d (Source: WFIE)

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) -When Fernando Morales and his team set goals for the 2019 season, two things stood out - achieve a winning record and clinch a spot in the Missouri Valley Conference Championship. Morales and his University of Evansville volleyball team accomplished both feats and travel to Cedar Falls, Iowa where they open the MVC Championship on Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. against Illinois State.

MVC Championship History

- Evansville enters the tournament as the #6 seed and will take on the third-seeded Redbirds on Thursday

- The 2019 event is the fifth UE has qualified for and is the first since 2008

- In its prior appearances, the Purple Aces have gone 1-4

- Their win came in 2000 when the team defeated Creighton by a 3-1 final

Weekend Recap

- Regular season play came to an end last weekend with the Aces falling in road matches at Bradley and Illinois State

- In Friday’s contest against the Braves, Rachel Tam had 10 kills while Gabriela Macedo added 18 digs in a 3-0 setback

- Macedo’s effort officially gave her the new UE single season dig record

- Saturday’s match-up in Normal saw Tam and Alondra Vazquez record 12 kills apiece in a 3-0 loss

Scholar-Athlete Honor

- For the second time in her career, Rachel Tam earned MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team honors on Tuesday; she is an Exercise Science major with a 3.74 GPA

Digging into the Record Book

- The top libero in the Missouri Valley Conference also has an argument to be the top libero in the country as Gabriela Macedo is coming off of one of the best seasons in MVC history

- Macedo finished the regular season with a total of 681 digs, translating to 5.97 per set; that tally led the conference by 0.62 per set while her total was 65 more than anyone else while finishing sixth in the entire nation

- She upped her game even more in conference play, posting 6.65 digs per set; that was 0.95 more than anyone else while her total of 472 was 90 more than her nearest competition

- Macedo was the only player in the MVC to be recognized with three Defender of the Week awards

- Her total of 681 digs surpassed the previous Evansville mark of 656 and is one of the top ten totals in Valley history; her current total is 10th all-time in a single season and she is just 19 away from being just the 7th player in the history of the league to record 700 digs in a season

Double-Double Machine

- Sophomore Alondra Vazquez led the Aces in the final home weekend with 4.89 kills per set while adding 4.00 digs per frame and a total of five block assists

- In the win over the Bears, Vazquez set her career mark with 29 kills while hitting .364

- She finished the weekend with 15 kills and 24 digs to go along with four block assists against SIU.

- For the season, Vazquez is averaging 3.27 kills and 3.40 digs per set

- She has posted at least six kills and six digs all but one match in 2019; her top kill tally of 29 came against Missouri State

Courtesy: UE Athletics

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