Aces Defeat Braves in Five Sets
Mildrelis Rodriguez and Gabriela Dos Santos each had one of the best matches of their college careers on Monday night to lead the University of Evansville volleyball team to a 3-2 win over Bradley inside Meeks Family Fieldhouse.
Rodriguez led everyone with 21 kills, just two shy of her career high. She tied her career mark with 22 digs. Dos Santos had a great game for the Purple Aces (7-12, 1-6 MVC) as she posted career highs in kills (15) and added 18 digs while hitting .333. Cathy Schreiber also finished with double digit kills, notching 11. Cassie Brooks led the squad with 25 digs while Allana McInnis posted 35 assists.
Joselyn Coronel and Schreiber were great around the net, each finishing with seven block assists. It was a career-best for Coronel.
Pacing Bradley (8-14, 1-7 MVC) was Erica Haslag, who had 18 kills. Yavianliz Rosado led all players with 33 digs.
The night started off with a back-and-forth contest. Bradley jumped out to a 4-1 lead before UE battled back to take an 8-7 lead on a double block by Joselyn Coronel and Erlicia Griffith. A Gabriela Dos Santos kill gave UE a 15-12 lead and the advantage for UE reached as many as four at 22-18. That is when Bradley made its run, posting six in a row before taking a 25-23 win.
Another early lead by the Braves saw them take a 3-1 lead before UE rallied back to tie the score at 4-4 before later taking an 8-7 advantage. Cathy Schreiber notched a kill to give UE an 18-16 lead before the Braves made their way back with three in a row to go back in front, 19-18. That is when Olivia Goldstein had a clutch service ace that help the Aces go back in front before Mildrelis Rodriguez had the clinching kill in a 25-23 victory to tie the match up at 1-1.
Evansville wrestled the lead away in game three, taking an 8-6 lead after the score was tied up at 5-5. Bradley took the lead back at 13-11 before Dos Santos took over. Her kill ended the stretch before she did the serving to put the Aces back in front by a score of 18-13. Cassie Brooks notched an ace as UE added to its lead, going up 23-17. The Braves had another run left in them, getting within a pair at 24-22, but Dos Santos struck again with the clinching kill as the Aces took a 2-1 lead.
Bradley scooted out to a 7-4 lead in the fourth frame, but UE fought back in a big way. Rodriguez posted two more kills in a 7-1 stretch as the Aces opened up an 11-8 lead. Bradley responded with a run of its own, retaking the lead at 14-13 before opening up a 24-17 advantage. They went on to win by a 25-19 final.
Erlicia Griffith opened up the fifth game with back-to-back kills as UE took an early lead before Bradley came back with five in a row. Evansville responded with a run of its own, posting the next five tallies to go up 7-5. The lead extended to 10-6 as Rodriguez notched her 19th kill of the match before Allana McInnis added an ace. UE went up by five points at 12-7 but the Braves had one more run left. They got within a pair at 13-11, but the Aces forced two errors to win the match with a 15-11 win in the set.
After the 3-match home stand, the Purple Aces take to the road this weekend to face Loyola and Valparaiso on Friday and Saturday.