Cardona’s 32 kills helps UE volleyball win fourth in a row


Aces defeat North Alabama, 3-1

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Junior Giulia Cardona set another career mark with 32 kills to help the University of Evansville volleyball team win its fourth match in a row, taking down North Alabama by a 3-1 final in Birmingham.

Just as impressive as her 32 kills was Cardona’s hitting mark, which finished at .459.  She added 12 digs and 6 blocks.  Melanie Feliciano posted 13 kills and 11 digs.  Kora Ruff had a stellar contest with 52 assists and a career-best 18 digs.  Ainoah Cruz checked in with 14 digs.  Katy Floyd wrapped up the match with 12 kills to lead the Lions.

Game 1 – UE 25, North Alabama 16

Giulia Cardona took control from the start.  Three kills in a row and a total of six in the first 10 UE points put the Aces in front, 10-2.  North Alabama made a run to get as close as three points (13-10) before Evansville responded with five in a row.  Efficient serving by Kora Ruff and another block by Brooke Springer extended the lead.

Two late Cardona kills set up Melanie Feliciano for the winning kill in a 25-16 decision.

Game 2 – UE 25, North Alabama 18

Another early run saw the Aces score the opening three tallies in the second set.  The Lions came back to tie it at 4-4 before the Aces wrestled the lead away for good.  Emilee Scheumann recorded a kill, which began a 6-1 run to put Evansville in front, 10-5.

Two more kills by Cardona and solid serving from Ruff saw Evansville push the lead to eight points at 15-8.  North Alabama got as close as four points (21-17) but UE fended off the challenge to take the win, 25-18.

Game 3 – Nprth Alabama 25, UE 21

Looking to put things away early, Evansville jumped out to an 8-2 advantage.  Madisyn Steele and Cardona combined for three blocks during the rally.  North Alabama never gave up and fought back with a 13-4 run that turned an 8-2 deficit into a 15-12 lead.

UE forced a 16-16 tie but was unable to retake the lead with the Lions clinching a 25-21 win in the third set.

Game 4 – UE 25, North Alabama 18

After taking a win in game three, North Alabama looked to keep the momentum going as they kept it close in the early portion of game four.  The Aces had other ideas and, with the score knotted at 6-6, UE scored four in a row and never looked back.  Maddie Hawkins got things going with an ace in a 4-0 run.

Three more Cardona kills in the next stretch pushed the lead to 17-10.  UNA got as close as 21-17 with the Aces countering to clinch the match on the strength of a 25-18 win.

Non-conference action continues next weekend with a trip to the DePaul Invitational.  UE is set to face St. Thomas, Northern Illinois and DePaul on Friday and Saturday in Chicago.