UE volleyball completes record-breaking regular season
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - It was a special evening inside Meeks Family Fieldhouse as the University of Evansville volleyball team put the finishing touches on a special season with a 3-1 victory over Indiana State.
With its 11th Missouri Valley Conference win of the season, the Purple Aces surpassed the previous record of 10, which was set in 2000. Entering the night, sophomore Giulia Cardona needed 11 kills to break Alondra Vazquez’ single season mark of 494. She broke the record in the third set and became the first UE player to record 500 or more in a season.
Her total of 24 kills led all players as she hit .354 in the contest. She added 9 kills and two service aces. Vazquez recorded 19 kills, 9 digs and 5 block assists. Laura Ruiz had a strong night with 12 digs and 4 aces while Kora Ruff and Blakeley Freeman added 10 digs apiece. Ruff tallied 55 assists.
Set 1 – INS 26, UE 24
Giulia Cardona’s second kill of the night put UE in front 6-4 before a block by Madisyn Steele and Kora Ruff pushed the lead to 10-7. Indiana State made its first run of the night, scoring six in a row to take a 13-10 lead.
Alondra Vazquez picked up a kill that got UE right back in the thick of it, tying it at 14-14. After ISU went back in front at 17-15, Cardona picked up two more kills to tie it up while Emilee Scheumann added her first kill to put UE back in front – 18-17. The Sycamores retook a 22-20 lead but Laura Ruiz served UE right back in front. Her ace gave Evansville a 23-22 edge, but ISU rallied once again to take the frame by a 26-24 score.
Set 2 – UE 25, INS 8
Evansville came out with a burst of energy in the second set, scoring the first seven points. Hannah Watkins picked up an early block and kill. UE made it a double figure game at 11-1 and pulled away even more to go up 18-3. Scheumann had a stellar kill that capped off a long rally during the run.
Ruiz added back-to-back aces to help the Aces tie the match on the strength of a 25-8 decision.
Set 3 – UE 25, INS 23
Early in the set, Cardona recorded her 495th kill of the season to break the program single season record. The Sycamores jumped in front at 7-5 before Cardona put the Aces back in front with a kill to make it 8-7. UE would slowly extend its lead to three points when Steele and Vazquez assisted on a block to make it a 14-11 contest.
Maddie Hawkins used her serving to extend the lead even more, adding an ace in a run that made it a 19-12 score. Six in a row by ISU cut the deficit to one with Cardona getting UE back on track with a kill but the Sycamore run continued as they tied it at 20-20 before taking the lead on a block. Trailing 23-21, Evansville finished on a strong note, scoring the final four points to take a 2-1 lead.
Set 4 – UE 25, INS 23
Vazquez opened the fourth set with a pair of early kills and an ace to put her squad up by a 9-2 score. Indiana State scored four in a row to cut into the deficit with UE weathering the storm to go up 13-7. Cardona had an ace during the stretch.
The Sycamores countered as they would cut the margin to a pair (16-14) before Watkins registered a kill. Evansville looked to be in good shape as they would hold a 21-17 advantage but ISU reeled off three in a row to get within one before eventually tying it at 22-22. Vazquez’ 18th kill of the night broke the tie before #19 clinched the victory.
Following the final MVC matches tomorrow, the bracket will be announced for the MVC Championship which is set to begin on Sunday inside Meeks Family Fieldhouse.
Courtesy: UE Athletics
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