TOLEDO 3, INDIANA STATE 2 (12-25, 26-24, 22-25, 25-18, 15-5)
VALPARAISO, IN - The Toledo Rockets fell behind by a set twice in the match but won the last two sets in convincing fashion to knock off Indiana State and advance to the second round of the 2021 Women’s NIVC on Thursday evening.
Indiana State started the match in dominant fashion, taking the first set 25-12. The Sycamores hit .550 in the opening set, while Toledo hit just .000 with 10 attack errors in the first frame. The Rockets regrouped through and managed to take a back-and-forth second set to head into the intermission at 1-1.
The third set was once again a close battle between the two programs, but Indiana State utilized a 4-0 run midway through the set to grab a 19-16 lead over Toledo. Toledo cut the lead down to one at 22-21, but Indiana State responded to close out the third set and take a 2-1 lead in the match.
In the remaining two sets, Toledo jumped all over Indiana State. The Rockets opened the 4th set with an 11-4 run and seemingly were in full control. Indiana State mustered a comeback and closed the gap to one point, 14-13, but once again Toledo responded down the stretch to take the set, 25-18.
The Rockets utilized the end-of-set momentum and carried it with them into the final set, where they hit .667 and won 15-5 to take the match. As a team Toledo hit .226 compared to .255 for Indiana State, but the Rockets held the Sycamores to under .200 hitting in each of the final three sets.
Toledo was led by junior outside hitter Sina Uluave, who racked up a career-high 20 kills on .350 hitting (20-5-40) to go along with 13 digs. Freshman setter Elaine Redman also set a career high with 56 assists.
EVANSVILLE 3, SAM HOUSTON 0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-21)
CHICAGO, IL – Argentinian freshman Giulia Cardona had 21 kills and Alondra Vazquez added 18 kills as Evansville swept by Sam Houston State in the opening round of the 2021 NIVC.
The Aces (20-11) will face Bradley in Round 2. Taya Haffner closed with 42 assists and Blakeley Freeman chipped in with 13 digs as Evansville hit .304 overall.
Set 1 was back-and-forth until the Aces used a 4-0 run to pull ahead late, with the winning point coming on a Sam Houston service error. Evansville used a 7-2 run to pull ahead, 16-9, in Set 2 and saw the Bearkats respond as kills from Ashley Lewis made it 16-13 and 19-17. The Aces put it away on game point with a kill from Cardona.
Catherine Krieger had 12 kills for Sam Houston (18-10) and Hannah Baker added 19 digs.
UTEP 3, TULSA 1 (25-18, 21-25, 25-17, 25-19)
FORT COLLINS, CO - The UTEP volleyball program picked up its first-ever postseason victory in the first round of the 2021 Women’s NIVC on Thursday night with a 3-1 win over Tulsa.
Yasso Amin and Alianzo Darley proved a formidable duo up front with 13 kills each on a combined .408 hitting (26-6-49), while Paulina Perez Rosas added 12 kills. It was the service game that was the story of the match however, as UTEP racked up 14 aces, including a career-high eight from freshman setter Ryley Frye. Frye also registered a career high with 28 assists in the match.
As a team, UTEP hit .313 (58-17-131) in the match, while holding Tulsa to just .215 hitting. Tulsa was led by Kayley Cassady and Maggie Hembree, who had 16 and 12 kills, respectively.
After splitting the first two sets, Tulsa held a 4-2 lead in the third set. UTEP utilized a 12-2 run from that point, much of which with Frye serving, to take a commanding 14-6 lead in the frame. UTEP never looked back after that and closed out the final two sets, 25-17 and 25-19. The Miners will take on the Colorado State in the second round of the NIVC.
VALPARAISO 3, BUTLER 0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-16)
VALPARAISO, IN – Valparaiso moved to 23-9 on the year with a sweep of Butler in the first round of the 2021 NIVC and will face Toledo in Round 2.
Bella Ravotto had 11 kills, Peyton McCarthy added 10 kills and Maddy Boyer closed with eight kills for the Beacons. Rylee Cookerly did good work with 14 digs and both setters were solid, with Victoria Bulmahn ringing up 18 assists and Brittany Anderson adding 16 assists.
The Round 2 matchup will be held Friday at 7 p.m. ET
Valparaiso had a 20-14 lead in Set 1, only to see the Bulldogs come all the way back and take a 22-21 lead. The Beacons responded and got the set-winning kill by McCarthy. In Set 2, a 6-0 run capped by a kill from Boyer pushed Valpo ahead 18-8, and they were never threatened after that. In Set 3, Butler jumped ahead 4-0, but the Beacons worked their way back, hitting .278 overall in the set.
The Bulldogs (16-16) saw Megan Sheridan and Mariah Grunze each register seven kills. Butler got 24 assists from Marissa McKelvey and 15 digs from Jaymeson Kinley.
BRADLEY 3, CHICAGO STATE 1 (25-17, 25-23, 23-25, 25-22)
CHICAGO, IL - Behind career performances from Silan Demirkol and Hannah Thompson, Bradley escaped with a hard-fought four-set victory over host Chicago State in the first round of the 2021 Women’s NIVC.
Demirkol tied a career high with 16 kills on .333 hitting, while Thompson added 11 kills but was everywhere defensively with a career-high 27 digs. As a team, Bradley’s defense racked up 76 digs in the four-set match and held Chicago State to just .189 hitting as a team.
Bradley took the first set by a relatively comfortable margin, 25-17, but the last three sets were anything but. Bradley trailed 19-13 in the second set, but quickly rattled off a 7-2 run to close the game to 21-20. Then, trailing by two, Bradley scored three-straight points to take the lead late in the set and held on 25-23.
The third set was close throughout the entire frame, with neither team gaining more than a three-point lead. The third frame featured 13 ties and five lead changes in total, before Chicago State was able to take the set 25-23 to extend the match to a fourth set.
The fourth set played out much like the third set did, this time with 10 ties and five total lead changes. Again, neither team could create separation of more than a couple of points. Chicago State held a 19-17 lead, and then 22-21, and looked primed to extend the match to a fifth set, but Bradley responded with a 4-0 run to close the game and win the final set.
COLORADO STATE 3, HOUSTON BAPTIST 0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-16)
FORT COLLINS, CO – Colorado State controlled the net during its sweep of Houston Baptist, holding the Huskies to a .128 hitting percentage and moving on to the second round of the 2021 NIVC.
The Rams (19-10) will face UTEP on Friday, with start time set for 9:30 p.m. ET.
Houston Baptist held leads throughout Set 2, but Colorado State took charge at net, with key blocks coming from the work of Karina Leber. A late 3-0 run got the job done for the Rams, anchored with a kill from Annie Sullivan and a service ace by Alyssa Bert. CSU took a big lead midway through Set 3 before wrapping up the match.
Sullivan nine kills for the Rams; Jacqi Van Liefde added eight kills and Sasha Columbo chipped in with seven kills. Ciera Pritchard had 32 assists and Bert was key with her eight digs and four aces
The Huskies (21-9) saw Anna Gadway and Sara Arroyo each notch seven kills; Ellie Wipf had 25 assists and Alexia Jones added 11 digs