Volleyball falls in tournament finale to Milwaukee

The Valpo volleyball team closed action at the Jackrabbit Invitational in Brookings, S.D. on Saturday morning, falling to tournament champion Milwaukee by a 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-17) final.

How It Happened

-          Milwaukee led start to finish in the opening set and extended its lead to as many as eight points at 14-6. Valpo rallied with four straight to close to within four, and later in the set, cut the deficit to three points at 18-15. But the Panthers would end the set by scoring seven of the final 10 points.

-          Milwaukee led early in the second set, but Valpo claimed the advantage with a five-point spurt to go ahead 10-8, a run which included a pair of blocks from sophomore Haley Hart (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) and junior Ally Cummings (Novi, Mich./Novi).

-          Valpo maintained a small advantage past the midpoint of the set and eventually held a 17-14 lead, but the Panthers rattled off five straight points to go ahead 19-17. The Brown and Gold were not able to string together consecutive points the rest of the set as Milwaukee went ahead two sets to none.

-          Valpo was limited to .045 hitting in the third set as the Panthers closed out the sweep. Valpo led 5-3 early on as junior Peyton McCarthy (Cincinnati, Ohio/Seton) notched two early kills and a block, but Milwaukee went on a 7-1 run to take the lead for good.

Inside the Match

-          Saturday’s meeting was the first regular season non-conference matchup between the two programs since 2001. The two teams met 27 times in Valpo’s 10-year tenure in the Horizon League.

-          In fact, Milwaukee is Valpo’s fourth-most common opponent all-time, trailing only UIC, Loyola and Chicago State.

-          McCarthy finished with double figures in kills in all three matches on the weekend, tying for team-high honors with 10 kills on Saturday on .438 hitting.

-          Junior Jaclyn Bulmahn (McCordsville, Ind./Mt. Vernon) matched McCarthy with 10 kills as well.

-          With her 16th dig of a match-high 17-dig performance Saturday, junior libero Rylee Cookerly (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) moved past Sarah Dooms into sixth place in program history and now owns 1,654 career digs.

-          Seeing her first extended action of the season, Hart was in on a match-high four blocks.

Next Up

Valpo (5-8) faces a rarity on Tuesday, as not only will it face a non-conference opponent for the second time within a season, but it will face an opponent for a second straight match, as the Crusaders make the trip up I-94 to Milwaukee. First serve is slated for 6 p.m., and the match can be seen live on ESPN3.