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Volleyball falls in championship of tournament

The 2013 Bradley Women’s Volleyball team looked to make a splash in the opening weekend of the season.

The Braves, hosting the 2013 CEFCU Classic, started the tournament Friday night with a hard-fought win against a tough Western Illinois squad. The Braves then started Saturday with a convincing three set victory against the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore 25-16, 25-17, 25-12, but the Braves couldn’t handle the nightcap, falling to UT-Martin in four sets 25-17, 16-25, 24-26, 19-25.

The tournament was highlighted by strong play out of the senior leadership on the team as Amy Angelos, Alise Tupuritis and Lauren Zerante all played well in all three games to lead the Braves in the right direction.

Coach Jenny Maurer praised her seniors for their strong play and setting the tone for the season.

“They are a great bunch and have come a long way together,” Maurer said. “They are hungrier than ever and want to be in the MVC tournament, something they’ve yet to achieve.”

There were many positives out of the tournament, as Angelos made the All-Tournament team and Zerante led the team in digs with 66.

Angelos knows the team is ready for a great season, and they are ready to take the Bradley Volleyball brand on the road to showcase what they are all about.

“We learned a lot about this team, and we are going to take it into the week with practice and next weekend in Omaha,” Angelos said.

The team led by the experienced seniors are poised to make a run at the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, something no one on this current Braves roster has ever done.

The Braves will continue play on the road for their season long six game road trip starting next weekend as they head to Omaha, Nebraska. They will play in the 2013 Omaha Marriott Classic then onto the Billiken Challenge the following weekend. Bradley doesn’t return home until Sept. 22 when the Braves start MVC play against Drake.

Coach Maurer knows her team will take all of the momentum they received from this past tournament with them on the road.

“We are looking forward to learning how to play on the road, with some great competition that will prepare us for MVC play,” Maurer said.

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