UE Volleyball travels to Drake and UNI this weekend


Aces open the weekend on Friday in Des Moines 

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The month of November opens with the longest road trip of the season for the University of Evansville volleyball team, who travels to Northern Iowa and Drake this weekend.  UE opens in Des Moines on Friday versus the Bulldogs before trekking to Cedar Falls to face UNI on Saturday; both matches are set for 6 p.m. start times on ESPN+.

Bringing the Defense

– As her freshman season has progressed, Ainoah Cruz has seen her defensive numbers on the rise

– Over the last five matches, Cruz as averaged 5.53 digs per set while raising her season average to 4.47/set – 8th in the MVC

– She has recorded two 30-dig matches with her top mark of 32 coming against UIC and 30 in the road match at Bradley

– Her numbers in MVC outings is even better with 4.85 digs against league opponents

Career Defensive Effort

– With a season average of 10.44 assists per set, Kora Ruff ranks second in the MVC and 28th nationally

– Ruff had the first 60-assist match of her career against UIC, surpassing her previous UE high of 58 helpers as a freshman

– Her defense has also been on the rise, culminating in a career-best 22 digs in the home match against the Salukis; it was the first 20-dig contest for Ruff, breaking her previous mark of 18 against North Alabama

– She ranks 19th in the league with 2.76 digs/set and has seen her average rise to 3.00/game in Valley matches

Top of the Charts

– Three of the most important offensive statistics in the sport of volleyball see Giulia Cardona’s name at the top

– Evansville’s junior continues to lead the nation in kills (5.30/set), points (6.09/set) and attacks (15.03/set)

– One of the top servers in the nation is on one of the most impressive streaks of her career as Cardona is averaging 1.00 aces per set over the last six matches

– Her season average of 0.54 per game paces the MVC and is 14th nationally

– Cardona’s defense has also been stellar – while her season average is 2.79 digs, she has seen that rise to 3.13 per set in MVC matches with a career high of 20 coming against SIU

Close to a Record

– Madisyn Steele is a career .337 hitter throughout her 2 1/2 seasons with the Purple Aces and she is set to smash the program career hitting percentage list

– Steele opens the weekend with 995 attacks in her career, just five away from becoming eligible to join the list

– Her current hitting mark of .337 is 60 points higher than the UE record of .277

– Steele set the single-season hitting record for Evansville last season, finishing at .346 (25 points higher than the previous record)

Scouting the Opposition

– Drake is second in the conference with an 11-2 mark and stand at 18-7 overall

– Taylor Oberpriller leads the Bulldogs with 3.84 kills per set, which puts her fourth in the MVC

– Northern Iowa is 19-6 in 2023 and has started its Valley slate with 13 consecutive wins

– Layanna Green is the #2 hitter in the Valley at .404 while Emily Holterhaus’ 3.77 kills per game is 5th