For the second time in just four matches, sophomore Genesis Miranda reset her career kills mark as the University of Evansville volleyball team earned a 3-2 victory at Austin Peay on Tuesday night.
Miranda led all players with 25 kills while freshmen Mildrelis Rodriguez and Rocio Fortuny checked in with 12 and 11, respectively. With the victory, the Purple Aces improve to 3-1 and are off to their best start since 2011. Leading the Governors was Ashley Slay, who posted 18 kills. Samantha Strother was just behind her with 15.
“This was an outstanding effort by the girls and most of all – composure under pressure,” head coach Manolo Concepcion said. “We were able to take away the momentum from our opponent in key moments of the game. Our mission is to continue to improve out habits, both offensively and defensively.”
The Aces got off to a nice start in the first set, taking a 25-21 win. Austin Peay played well in the early-going, leading by two on several occasions, including 13-11. That is when Evansville made its run, scoring six of the next seven points to open up a 17-14 lead. Freshman Rocio Fortuny notched two kills in the rally.
A service ace by Genesis Miranda helped UE take its largest lead at 22-17, but the Governors had one more run left in them as a Kelly Ferguson kill got APSU within a pair at 23-21. Fortunately, the Aces were able to regroup and score the final two and grab the win. Miranda had a stellar game in the second set, totaling seven kills, but Austin Peay was able to knot the match up at 1-1 thanks to a 25-17 win.
The competitive evening of action continued as Evansville saw the lead go back in its favor with a 25-23 win in the third frame. It was Evansville’s most dominant set of the night as a Miranda tally gave UE its largest lead at 15-8. At that point, Austin Peay fought back with four points and
continued to fight, getting within one at 24-23. Senior Gabriela Roman put an end to that, sending home a kill to clinch the set.
Austin Peay knotted the match up at 2-2 thanks to a 25-18 win in the fourth, leading to a decisive fifth game. A quick 4-1 start by the Governors led to a 12-9 score. With the match in the balance, UE called a time out. It proved to be the difference maker as the Aces went on a 7-2 run to earn their third win of the season. Fortuny notched two kills in the last run while Miranda hammered home the winner with her 25th kill of the evening.
With an exciting mid-week victory in the books, UE now sets its sights on the DePaul Invitational. The Aces open up versus Eastern Illinois on Friday before facing DePaul and Toledo on Saturday.
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