Volleyball keeps MVC Tournament hopes alive with two wins

With its back against the wall, the Bradley volleyball team won both of its games and still has an opportunity to make the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.

The Braves beat Creighton in five sets Saturday, and Drake in three straight sets Friday. Bradley’s win against Creighton snapped a 12-match losing streak to the Blue Jays.

“It’s just amazing, I couldn’t ask for anything more,” senior outside hitter Annie Cave said. “The fans are great, my teammates are great and I love every single one of them, and to go out at home with two wins in our last weekend here, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Bradley improves to 11-15 overall and 4-12 in conference play. The Braves must win both of their matches and have Indiana State lose both of its matches to make the MVC Tournament. Bradley hasn’t participated in the tournament since 2005.

“Our hard work is all coming together at once, and we’re realizing it’s the end of the season, and it’s now or never,” freshman setter Madison Kamp said.

Bradley defeated Creighton 27-25, 25-18, 19-25, 24-26 and 15-10. Freshman Courtney Keefe led the Braves with career-high 16 kills and completed a double-double with 17 digs. For the strong outing, Keefe was named MVC Freshman of the Week for the second time in four weeks.

In the victory, Kamp tied her career-high with 54 assists and seniors Rachelle and Genevieve Dejean combined for 42 digs.

“Tonight’s game was so exciting,” Kamp said. “We fought hard, we knew we had to win this game and it was a big game on the line. We have been working hard and it really just showed in this game.”

Sophomore Alise Tupuritis paced the Braves with 10 kills in their win against Drake Friday. Bradley won 25-16, 25-17 and 25-14 on Senior Night.

“Throughout a season it’s piece-by-piece and building blocks, and we kept telling them to believe in it,” coach Jenny Maurer said. “They stuck through and we’ve had great leadership in our seniors, who have kept us together and kept us focused on the team aspect.”

The Braves will face Southern Illinois tonight at 7 p.m. in Carbondale, and head to Evansville for its final game of the regular season Saturday.

“I think it’s that point where we still have that fighting chance, and we wanted to show everyone what we have been doing all this season, and how much we have become a team,” Cave said. “I have never been on a team that’s set so much on one thing and one goal.”