Aces volleyball stays unbeaten in MVC with win over Bradley
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - For the first time since 2000, the University of Evansville volleyball team is 2-0 in Missouri Valley Conference play. On Saturday, the Purple Aces defeated Bradley by a final of 3-1 inside Meeks Family Fieldhouse.
Leading the way for UE was Giulia Cardona. A 23-kill, 8-dig performance also saw the sophomore add two service aces. Alondra Vazquez recorded a double-double with 17 kills and 11 digs. She picked up four block assists and a solo. Emilee Scheumann and Madisyn Steele picked up eight kills each. Maddie Hawkins totaled three aces and nine digs while Kora Ruff registered 43 assists and 10 digs. Blakeley Freeman also had a strong outing, picking up 10 digs.
Set 1: UE 25, BU 18
After the Purple Aces jumped out to a 4-1 edge, the Braves recorded consecutive service aces to take their first advantage at 5-4. UE came back to tie things at 7-7 before going on a 6-1 run to make it a 14-8 game. Giulia Cardona picked up back-to-back kills in the rally.
Bradley stayed within striking distance, cutting their gap to three (18-15), but it was freshman Maddie Hawkins putting the momentum back on the Aces side. Three consecutive aces made it a 22-15 game and UE cruised to take the opening set, 25-18.
Set 2: UE 25, BU 14
It was another solid performance from Evansville, who took a 5-3 lead on a Laura Ruiz service ace. Still holding the edge at 8-7, UE scored the next four to take its largest lead to that point. The Braves struck back, getting within three at 12-9, but a 7-2 run grew the lead even more.
Two Cardona kills, along with points from Kate Tsironis and Vazquez made it a 19-11 game. It was Cardona striking again, picking up the clinching kill in a 25-14 win.
Set 3: BU 27, UE 25
Emilee Scheumann recorded a kill that gave the Aces a 6-4 edge to open the set when the Braves battled back. Bradley used an ace to tie it at 12-12 before another one gave them a 15-14 lead. They added two more tallies, forcing an Evansville timeout.
Alondra Vazquez stopped the BU rally with a kill, marking the first of three straight points to knot the set back up at 17-17. Vazquez added another to her total to put the Aces on top – 19-18. UE took two more 1-point leads before the Braves took their turn, going back in front by a 23-22 tally. Taking their second timeout, Evansville got back on track with Cardona and Steele registering kills to turn the tides and put UE up 24-23. Unfortunately, BU countered and recorded the set win by a final of 27-25.
Set 4: UE 25, BU 21
A close call on a serve saw Bradley go up 2-1, Evansville responded with five in a row. Kate Tsironis picked up a solo block to highlight the stretch. The Braves scored two before Madisyn Steele recorded a pair of kills to make it a 10-4 game. They put an end to the stretch after using their second timeout before Evansville was able to push its lead to 12-5.
UE continued to hold the advantage and looked ready to clinch the match, going up 24-18. Bradley had other ideas, scoring three in a row to make things interesting before Vazquez picked up kill #17 to finish the match.
Next weekend, UE returns to the road with road contests at Belmont and Murray State.
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