Senior Ashley Ring totaled a season-high 26 kills while hitting .288 as the University of Evansville volleyball team improved to 3-1 in their last four conference matches by defeating Drake, 3-1, on Saturday night.
Ring posted 26 kills in 59 attempts to lead the Purple Aces (7-12, 3-4 MVC). Next up was Genesis Miranda, who posted 18 kills. Cathy Schreiber tallied 12 kills and hit .360 while Meaghan Holmes was also strong with 11 kills and .474 hitting. Freshman Grace Carter set her career mark with 63 assists.
Drake (9-9, 1-6 MVC) was led by 20 Makena Schoene kills. She hit .400. Amanda Platte finished with 15 kills. Evansville finished the night with a slight .276-.268 hitting percentage with each set being extremely close.
A quick start propelled Drake to a 25-21 win in game one. With the score knotted at 4-4, the Bulldogs posted the next five points to take a 9-4 advantage. Michelle Thommi notched back-to-back service aces in the run. The Bulldogs’ lead reached as many as eight before UE chipped away.
Down 18-10, the Aces scored seven of the next nine points to cut the gap to 20-17. Ashley Ring had two kills in the run while Cathy Schreiber got it started with her first kill of the evening. Just a few points later, a Drake error got UE within a pair at 22-20 before the Bulldogs scored three of the next four to cap off a 25-21 win.
Evansville took advantage of five Bulldog errors in the opening portion of the second frame, taking an early 6-1 lead. They continued to lead until the Bulldogs fought back, getting within one at 14-13. Drake continued to battle, getting the equalizer at 18-18. A Miranda kill set UE on a quick 2-0 spurt and the squad never looked back, taking a 25-22 win.
Eight Ring kills in the third set saw UE hang on for another close win. Five ties led to a 5-5 tally before the Bulldogs scored the next four to go up 9-5. Just as fast, the Aces battled back with three consecutive Ring kills. What would be the final lead of the set for the Bulldogs saw them go up 13-10 before UE tied it at 15-15 before taking a 17-15 lead.
It was all Aces from there as two Miranda kills and another from Schreiber sealed a 25-23 win.
In the fourth game, Drake was strong midway through the frame. Another five ties led to a 6-6 score before the Bulldogs took the lead, going up by as many as four at 13-9. Evansville tied it up at 17-17 on a DU error before retaking the lead on a Stephanie Cerino service ace.
Points 18 through 20 were tied before Meaghan Holmes gave the Aces the lead for good. One kill gave the Aces a 21-20 lead while her final one of the night was the match-winner as UE took a 25-22 win.
The Aces return to the Carson Center next weekend to take on Missouri State and Wichita State.