Purple Aces Play Bradley And Illinois State
In the last weekend of the regular season, the University of Evansville volleyball team heads north for matches at Bradley and Loyola.
Last weekend, the Purple Aces completed the home schedule against Valparaiso and Loyola. UE dropped those contests by finals of 3-1 and 3-0, respectively. Mildrelis Rodriguez had a match-high 17 kills against the Crusaders while Rachel Tam posted 13 to lead the team on Saturday versus the Ramblers.
The Purple Aces honored their four seniors as the team completed its home schedule. Prior to Saturday’s contest against Loyola, Cathy Schreiber, Erlicia Griffith, Montana Schafer and Jelena Merseli were recognized.
Mildrelis Rodriguez has always done well for the Aces on both sides of the net and that showed on Friday against Valparaiso. The junior finished the contest with 20 digs and 17 kills. In a 5-set win over Bradley earlier this season, Rodriguez had a great 20-20 performance, notching 21 kills and 22 digs while adding three block assists. It was the first such performance for a UE player since Brooke Maher in 2010. Maher had 20 kills and 31 digs versus Drake on Nov. 20, 2010. Rodriguez is second on the team with 2.44 kills per set and is also second with 3.46 digs per game.
Rachel Tam had a strong effort in the final weekend of home action as she finished with 23 kills in the contests against Valpo and Loyola. That translated into an average of 3.29 per set. In her previous 30 sets of work, Tam averaged just 2.0 kills per set. In the first meeting of the season at SIU, she set career marks in kills (27) and attempts (79). Her kill total was the most for a UE player since Oct. 24, 2015. Tam continues to lead the way for the Aces with 2.86 kills per set.
Sitting at .267 for the season, Cathy Schreiber has been UE’s most accurate hitter. In the weekend of October 27-28, Schreiber had 24 kills in 44 attempts with just six errors while notching 4.00 kills per set. Schreiber’s season hitting mark of .267 ranks near the top ten in the MVC. She has had double figure kills in five of the last 10 matches while hitting .300 or higher on ten occasions.
Entering the final weekend of play, Bradley sits at 9-21 overall and 2-14 in conference play. They have dropped their last five league outings. Erica Haslag is ranked second in the Valley with 4.28 blocks per set while Kathryn Graf is third in blocks with an average of 0.98 per game.
Illinois State enters the homestretch with a mark of 18-11 and are solidly in the conference tournament with an 11-5 record. The Redbirds have won three in a row, taking down Valparaiso, Loyola and Bradley. Jaelyn Keene sits third in the MVC with 3.99 kills per set while Courtney Pence leads the Valley in digs (6.62/set).