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UE Volleyball Clinches 5-Seed in Upcoming MVC Tournament

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Published: Nov. 20, 2021 at 10:50 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - For the first time since 2000, the University of Evansville volleyball team has clinched a top five seed in the Missouri Valley Conference Championship.  Saturday’s final results gave UE the #5 seed in the upcoming championship where they are set to take on 4th-seeded Valparaiso on Thursday in Normal, Ill.  The game is set for 3:30 p.m. CT with the winner advancing to play Loyola on Friday.

On Saturday evening, Alondra Vazquez and Giulia Cardona combined to record 34 kills, but Missouri State’s Amelia Flynn had a match-high of 19 to lead the Bears to a 3-1 win over the Purple Aces inside Hammons Student Center.

Vazquez led UE (19-10, 9-9 MVC) with 18 kills while Cardona recorded 16.  Defensively, Blakeley Freeman registered a career-high 19 digs while Kate Tsironis had three blocks.  Taya Haffner finished with 45 assists and 8 digs.  Flynn led the Bears (17-13, 8-10 MVC) with her kill tally while Katie Wemhoener led all players with 23 digs.

Set 1 – MSU 25, UE 16

Three of the first four points in the contest belonged to the Bears, who would lead for the duration of the opening set.  Missouri State pushed its lead to five points with kills by Madisyn Steele and Alondra Vazquez keeping the Aces within striking distance.  The momentum changed as MSU turned a 16-11 lead into a 21-11 advantage, scoring five in a row.  The frame finished with the Bears taking a 25-16 decision.

Set 2 – UE 25, MSU 23

Evansville performed much better in the second set as the teams exchanged the lead numerous times to open before the Aces grabbed their largest lead.  With things tied at 11-11, Kate Tsironis and Giulia Cardona picked up kills to help Evansville score three in a row.  Kills by Melanie Feliciano and Vazquez expanded the lead even more to 18-13.  Missouri State never gave up as they made things very interesting down the stretch.  With the Aces leading 24-21, MSU scored a pair to get within one, but a kill from Vazquez sealed the 25-23 win to tie the match at 1-1.

Set 3 – MSU 25, UE 17

With the score tied at 3-3, Missouri State scored six in a row with Amelia Flynn notching two kills to put the momentum on the Bears side.  Giulia Cardona ended the MSU stretch with a kill before an error saw UE get even closer at 11-7.  The defining stretch came with UE trailing 12-8 as Missouri State posted the next six tallies to extend their lead to ten before taking the set by a 25-17 final.

Set 4 – MSU 25, UE 19

The teams battled to an early 5-5 tie before the Bears scored two in a row to take the first multi-point lead of the set.  The Aces made it a 9-8 game when Cardona picked up a service ace, but Missouri State countered with five in a row.  Their lead would reach seven points (20-13) before Evansville made a final push to send it to a fifth set.  Blakeley Freeman recorded an ace before an MSU error saw the Aces get within three at 22-19, but the final three points of the evening belonged to the Bears and they would win by a 25-19 score to finish the match.

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