Horizon League Volleyboard Scoreboard (Sept. 15)
Green Bay 3, Chicago State 0
Valparaiso 3, Toledo 1
Illinois State 3, UIC 1
Green Bay 3, Chicago State 0
After three straight weekends on the road to start the 2015 season, everyone on the Green Bay volleyball team was ready to get home.
On Tuesday night, the Phoenix got its first chance in front of the home Kress Center crowd and did not disappoint, picking up a convincing three-set win (25-16, 25-15, 25-12) over Chicago State. Green Bay, now 8-3 on the season, has strung together four consecutive victories, including six in its last seven games, with Horizon League-play only nine days away.
Six Phoenix players tallied five or more kills on the evening, led by sophomore middle blocker Beth Kuske, who recorded eight kills. Reigning Horizon League Offensive Player of the Week Lydia DeWeese continued her stellar play on the outside as well, notching six kills in seven tries for a .857 attack percentage.
As a team, Green Bay recorded a .354 hitting percentage, including a superb .545 mark in the third set, while limiting the Cougars to just .118 overall on the defensive end.
“First and foremost it was great to be home, we had a great crowd, and I’m really pleased with the students here coming out to support us on a Tuesday evening,” said head coach Sean Burdette.
“I thought more than anything, it was a matter of getting some people in the match that haven’t played a lot of points recently. They stepped up big time and were able to contribute and the bench was great. We were able to move some people around and find a good groove tonight.”
Among the numerous players who logged significant minutes were junior transfers Adrianna Sosnowska and Amber Kelly, as well as freshman Vanessa Buman. Sosnowska and Kelly combined for eight kills in 11 attacks without committing an error (.727 percentage), while Buman had seven digs, two shy of the team lead.
With the conference-opener quickly approaching against Youngstown State on Sept. 24, and film on upcoming opponents more vastly available, Burdette said his goal moving forward will be to limit the flow of information coming in.
“There’s certainly a lot more film available (at this point in the season), and you can watch as much or as little as you want,” he said. “The goal for us as coaches is to know tendencies and know the teams that we’re going to play, but not overload our players. You don’t want to ill prepare them for something they may not see.”
Valparaiso 3, Toledo 1
The Valparaiso University volleyball team improved to 10-1 on the season Tuesday evening at the ARC, fighting off a game Toledo squad to earn the 3-1 (26-24, 25-20, 21-25, 25-21) victory.
The Crusaders found themselves having to fight back against the Rockets from the very beginning of the first set, as Toledo ran out to a quick 7-0 lead. Valpo rallied and put together an 8-0 run midway through the frame to go ahead 13-11, but Toledo pushed forward and eventually earned set point at 24-21.
But at that point, Valpo’s freshmen stepped up and led the way as the Crusaders went on a five-point run to come from behind and claim the opener. Katherine Carlson (Lake Orion, Mich./Prep) started the run with a kill, and Kayla Currier (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) combined on blocks with first Lizzie Zaleski (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist) and then Carlson to even the set at 24-24. A kill from Zaleski gave Valpo its first set point opportunity, and the Crusaders took advantage of an overpass on the serve receive as Carlson tallied another kill to end the opener in Valpo’s favor.
The second set was all Valpo from start to finish, as the Crusaders never trailed and hit at a .353 clip with 16 kills to head into the locker room for the in-game break up two sets to none. But looking as if they were on their way to a sweep in the third set up 17-11, the Crusaders faltered, as Toledo ended the set on a 14-4 run to force a fourth frame.
Valpo would again never trail in the fourth set, but the deciding set would not come easily, as Toledo evened the score on six occasions, the latest coming at 17-17. A 5-1 run, highlighted by two service aces from senior Kelsey Berrington (Britton, Mich./Tecumseh) gave the Crusaders breathing room at 22-18, but the Rockets responded with three consecutive points to close within one. Valpo pushed back to close out the match, however, as kills by junior Jamie Lacheta (Warsaw, Ind./Warsaw) and sophomore Taylor Graboski (Upper Sandusky, Ohio/Upper Sandusky) made it 24-21, and a Toledo (1-9) attack error ended the match in the Crusaders’ favor.
Carlson paced Valpo on the attack Tuesday with 12 kills on .294 hitting and also picked up 13 digs for her second double-double of the season. Both Graboski, who hit .250, and Campbell added 11 kills as well, while Berrington dished out 22 assists and sophomore Tarrah Lasky (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) handed out 14 assists. Junior Morganne Longoria (Burlington, Wis./Burlington) led Valpo with 21 digs and Currier paced the effort at the net with five blocks.
Valparaiso (10-1) plays its final in-season tournament of the season this weekend, as the Crusaders travel to Terre Haute for the ISU Classic.
Illinois State 3, UIC 1
After dropping the first two sets Tuesday, UIC roared back to claim the third, and nearly the fourth, but the Flames were subdued by the visiting Illinois State Redbirds at the Flames Athletic Center, 3-1 (25-21, 25-20, 23-25, 29-27).
The Redbirds controlled the first and second sets for the most part as those frames featured only one tie score (in the first) and no lead changes. The third and fourth frames followed a much different blueprint, however, with 15 ties and seven lead changes throughout the two games.
Fast forwarding to the third stanza, back-to-back-to-back aces off the strong right-handed serve of Alyssa Ehrhardt gave the Flames an early 8-6 advantage in the third set. UIC kept pushing the pace and eventually grabbed an 11-7 lead after Harris hammered back-to-back kills, prompting ISU to burn a timeout. The Flames maintained a lead, 17-14, but the Redbirds rallied to even the ledger with three consecutive scores of their own.
The instate foes traded points before Illinois State went back on top, 19-18. UIC’s Kara Johnson scored off the block to make it a tie game, but Ashley Rosch was quick with an answer. UIC later led 22-21 after an ISU error and a monster solo block by Harris. Illinois State called its final timeout at that point. The Redbirds won a rally to tie the score and UIC head coach Katie Schumacher-Cawley used her second timeout of the stanza.
Ehrhardt delivered after the break to put UIC ahead 23-22, but Illinois State answered right back to even things up. Senior Stephenee Yancy set up a set-point opportunity with a thundering kill before Ehrhardt scored off the block to grab a 25-23 triumph for the home team.
Similar to the second set, Illinois State grabbed a quick 5-1 lead in the fourth, but Kyisha Hunt ended the run with a big swing of her left arm to get the Flames back to within three. UIC remained within striking distance throughout and back-to-back scores by Johnson made it a one-point set with the Flames down 17-16. Shortly thereafter, with a 19-18 lead, the Redbirds scored two of the next three points in the match to cause Schumacher-Cawley to use a timeout.
The score was 22-21 in favor of ISU after an attacking error on Rosch. The Redbirds called their first timeout, but Ehrhardt powered down a kill to tie the game and Hunt gave the Flames a 23-22 lead with her 11th kill of the match. A service error gave the ball back to ISU.
The set was far from over, however, and the teams would go to extra points. UIC led 26-25 after another Ehrhardt flush, but ISU scored two in a row to regain the advantage. Yancy made it 27-27 with her 17th kill of the night, but the Redbirds got a block then a kill from Jaelyn Keene to earn a hard-fought 29-27 win in the set and a 3-1 win for the match.
Earlier in the match, the visitors came in and took control of the first set early building a 7-4 lead on the strength of a couple of kills off the arm of Rosch. A block from UIC’s Casey Harris and Hunt before a kill by Kara Johnson helped the Flames the deficit to a pair of points, 12-10. Illinois State eventually pushed the advantage to seven points at 18-11 before the home team cut in once again.
It was 19-15, ISU, following a kill, then a block from Yancy, but the Redbirds steady attack was able to push the lead back to six points at 21-15. Then the Flames found another gear. Down 22-17, UIC scored three unanswered tallies to inch back to within two and force ISU to call a timeout. Both Nicole Johnson and Kara Johnson had a kill during the run, and the Flames were aided by an ISU attacking error. The Redbirds scored a kill from Rosch out of the stoppage before Kara Johnson terminated another ball to regain the momentum.
Harris appeared to notch a kill to make it a one-point affair, but she was ruled to be over the net, giving Illinois State a 24-21 lead. Rosch then collected her team’s first ace of the evening to seal a 25-21 triumph.
Kara Johnson led UIC with six kills in the first game, while Yancy added four of her own, plus two blocks.
Illinois State claimed the first five points of the second set before a solo block by Harris quelled the surge and got the Flames on the scoreboard. UIC trailed by as many as six points in the early going, but the squad was able to get back to within two, at 9-7, thanks to a 4-1 run that was punctuated on another kill from Yancy.
The two sides traded brief runs and the Flames found themselves down by one, 17-16, after back-to-back kills from Ehrhardt and Kara Johnson. The home team fell victim to a 6-1 run that prompted UIC to call a timeout. Kara Johnson scored for the Flames out of the timeout before a net violation on the Redbirds made it a two-point deficit for UIC. Illinois State was able to net the next three points, however, to collect a 25-20 win.
Both Yancy and Kara Johnson finished with a match-high 17 kills. Johnson also added a team-best 18 digs. For Johnson, the effort marked a season-high in kills and her first double-double of the season. Ehrhardt etched her fourth double-double thanks to 13 kills and 15 digs. Defensively, libero Bridget Powell and defensive specialist Tracy Friel both stood tall in the back row with 15 and 10 digs, respectively. UIC collected a season-high 78 digs as a team Tuesday night, 14 more than their next-highest output which came in a five-set win over Northern Iowa on Sept. 12.
The Flames will embark on a six-match road trip beginning Friday, Sept. 18 in Denver, Colo. UIC will participate in the Denver Invitational and battle the host Pioneers at 8 p.m. CT before turning around to play against Abilene Christian (11 a.m.) and Montana (6 p.m.) on Saturday.