Valpo Falls in MVC Opener Friday Night
The Valpo volleyball team opened Missouri Valley Conference play with its shortest road trip of the conference slate Friday evening, but was unable to return from Chicago victorious, as host Loyola earned a 3-0 (25-12, 25-17, 25-22) victory.
How It Happened
– The lead swung back and forth early in the first set, with freshman Leah Pease (Petaluma, Calif./Marin Catholic) picked up an assist and an ace in a three-point spurt to put Valpo ahead 7-5.
– After the teams traded sideouts, however, Loyola went on a 6-0 run to go up 12-8. Valpo and Loyola traded points past the midway mark, but with Valpo within 15-12, the Ramblers scored 10 straight to close the opening set.
– Valpo’s lone lead in the second set came at 1-0. With the score 5-5, Loyola went on a 5-1 spurt to take control, and Valpo would get no closer than three points the rest of the way.
– The Brown and Gold controlled the early part of set three, scoring six of the first eight points – including two kills and a block from junior Peyton McCarthy (Cincinnati, Ohio/Seton) and a service ace by freshman Maddy Boyer (Batavia, Ill./Batavia).
– Following a Rambler timeout, Loyola rallied and would eventually take the lead as part of a 6-0 run which put it ahead 13-8.
– Loyola extended its lead to six points at 16-10, but the Crusaders battled back with five consecutive points to close to within one at 16-15.
– But Valpo was unable to even the frame, as the Ramblers scored the next three points and held off Valpo the rest of the way.
Inside the Match
– The loss was Valpo’s first to Loyola since joining the MVC.
– Loyola limited Valpo to just 24 kills on .036 hitting Friday night. Sophomore Jillie Grant (Maumee, Ohio/Anthony Wayne) led Valpo with eight kills.
– Junior Brittany Anderson (East Chicago, Ind./Bishop Noll) handed out 16 assists and tallied seven digs.
– Junior Rylee Cookerly (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) led Valpo with 12 digs, while Boyer reached double figures in the digs column for the first time in her career, tallying 10 digs.
Valpo (5-10, 0-1 MVC) opens the home schedule on Monday evening as it hosts UNI. The match will serve as the program’s pediatric cancer awareness match, and for those who can’t make it to the ARC for the 6 p.m. first serve, it can be seen live on ESPN+.