UE Volleyball travels to Knoxville for Friday matches


Aces face Chicago State and #15 Tennessee 

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Set for its final weekend non-conference trip, the University of Evansville volleyball team heads to Knoxville, Tennessee for a pair of matches on Friday.  The Purple Aces open at 10 a.m. CT against Chicago State before facing the 15th-ranked Volunteers at 5:30 p.m. CT.

Last Time Out

– Saturday was one of those matches where the final score was not indicative of how the team played as the Aces fell at DePaul by a final of 3-0

– All three sets came down to the wire including a 25-23 score in the first set and a 34-32 final in the second game

– Giulia Cardona and Melanie Feliciano finished the day with 23 and 22 kills, respectively

– Kora Ruff added 48 assists while Ainoah Cruz led the way with 15 digs

#1 in the NCAA

– With another spectacular weekend of action, Giulia Cardona is now the national leader in three major statistics

– She paces the NCAA in kills (5.63/set), points (6.67/set) and attacks (14.30/set) while ranking 5th nationally with 0.70 aces per set

– In the final two matches of the DePaul Invitational, Cardona averaged 6.7 kills per frame as she recorded 24 against Northern Illinois and 23 versus DePaul

– Cardona put together one of the most efficient performances you will ever see in the win over North Alabama, finishing with a career-high 32 kills while hitting 459 in the victory…she added 12 digs and 6 block assists

Top of the Valley

– Sophomore Kora Ruff is now the conference leader with a season average of 11.24 assists per set

– On the national level, Ruff’s assist average is 11th

– In the final two contests of the DePaul Invitational, Ruff averaged an unreal 14.57 assists including a season-high of 54 against Northern Illinois

– Additionally, Ruff is 5th in the MVC in service aces (0.48/set) and 19th in digs (2.72/set)

– On the defensive side, Ruff set a new career mark with 18 digs against UNA

Scouting the Opposition

– Friday’s opener pits the Aces against Chicago State in a unique series of meetings this season; it will be the first of three contests between the squads who will also meet in Evansville and in Chicago later in the season

– The Cougars have opened the year with a 6-2 record and have two wins over Northern Illinois and one over Southeast Missouri State

– Patrycja Lagida holds the team lead with 4.32 kills per set

– Tennessee opens the weekend ranked 15th in the nation and hold a 7-1 record

– Their only setback of 2023 was a 5-set loss to Wisconsin, who is currently the top ranked team in the nation

– On Tuesday, Morgahn Fingall was named the AVCA Division I National Player of the Week as she averaged 6.57 points and 5.71 kills per set while defeating #24 Marquette and Loyola

Building Blocks

– Evansville’s block leader is Brooke Springer as her average of 1.14 per set puts her third in the MVC

– Springer opened the DePaul Invite with a solo block and three block assists versus St. Thomas before adding five block assists in the triumph over NIU

– Springer’s eight solo blocks is tied for the second-highest tally in the league

– Her top offensive performance of 2023 came against USI where she tallied six kills