Busy weekend ahead for UE volleyball


Aces to play three matches in four nights

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Another busy weekend is upcoming for the University of Evansville volleyball team with three road matches in four days.  The Purple Aces open at Illinois State on Friday, Bradley on Saturday and complete the trip with a Monday evening match at Chicago State.  ESPN+ will have the coverage of the two MVC matches while the CSU contest will be carried on YouTube.

NCAA’S Longest Match

– On October 13, Evansville and UIC squared off in what was the longest match in the history of the NCAA

– The 5-set contest took 3 hours and 44 minutes to complete, surpassing the previous record of 3 hours and 38 minutes, which took place between Hawaii and BYU in 1998

National Accolade

– Giulia Cardona became just the second player in Missouri Valley Conference history to earn AVCA Division I National Player of the Week honors when she earned the accolade on Oct. 17

– Lily Johnson of Missouri State was the first league player to do so in 2017

– The recognition came on the heels of a 40-kill performance versus the Flames as Cardona tied the MVC single-match record while setting the UE program record

On a Roll

– Giulia Cardona earned her third MVC Player of the Week honor on Oct. 16 as she averaged 6.62 kills in matches versus Indiana State, UIC, and Valparaiso

– Highlighting the week was her 40-kill performance versus UIC that tied the league’s single-match record that was set by UNI’s Bobbi (Becker) Petersen in 1989

– Along with her 40 kills, Cardona had 94 attempts, tying for the second-highest total in league history; teammate Melanie Feliciano holds the MVC record with 95 in 2019

– Cardona remains the national leader in kills (5.58/set), points (6.28/set) and attacks (14.81/set)

– The 3-time MVC Player of the Week honoree in 2023 earned the honor on Aug. 28, Sept. 25 and Oct. 16

– The 40-kill match by Cardona was the first that the NCAA had seen since the fall of 2019 when it happened on three occasions

– She currently holds the NCAA lead for kills this season in a 3-set (26), 4-set (36) and 5-set (40) match

Scouting the Opposition

– While they are 9-12 overall, Illinois State sits at 7-2 in MVC matches and has won seven in a row entering the weekend

– Aida Shadewald paces the team with 3.53 kills/set, which is 6th in the Valley

– After going 7-6 in non-conference play, Bradley has dropped its opening nine MVC matches to fall to 7-15

– Kendall Minta has proven to be one of the top defensive players in the MVC as she ranks 4th in the conference with 1.00 blocks per set

– Chicago State will be the third opponent of the weekend and stands at 10-5 with two wins coming over the Purple Aces

– Yanlis Feliz paces the Cougars with an average of 4.37 kills

Running the Offense

– Just four days after totaling 57 assists against Indiana State, Kora Ruff reset her career mark with 64 in the victory over UIC

– Ruff has been on an absolute roll over the last few matches, averaging 12.6 assists per set while improving her season mark to 10.58, which is second in the league

– It marked the first 60-assist performance of Ruff’s UE career surpassing her previous high of 58, which came as a freshman

– Her average is 20th in the nation while her total of 751 assists is 23rd nationally

– Over the course of the season, Ruff has posted 2.66 digs per set but has seen that rise to 2.85/frame in MVC contests

First Over 30

– With 32 digs against UIC, Ainoah Cruz put forth the top performance of her young career; her previous high of 27 digs came in the road win at Samford

– Cruz checks in with an average of 4.19 digs per set, which is 9th in the MVC

– Her numbers in MVC matches are even better at 4.45/frame