Volleyball traveled across the midwest to play Missouri Valley Conference teams Creighton and Drake this week.
Bradley fell to both teams with four and three sets, respectively.
Friday night, Creighton was able to take control in the first set with a 12-2 run. The Braves had a .200 hitting percentage and were not able to come back giving the Blue Jays the win at 25-9.
In the second set, the Braves hit .312 and were in control for most of the frame. Creighton was able to get the deficit down to two points at 21-19 after a Bradley error. Freshman Skylar Lesan help the Braves secure their 25-19 win but serving up her MVC leading 28th ace.
The Braves were in the lead for most of the third set, but a six point run gave Crieghton the advantage at 24-21. Freshman Jessica McNellis put a stop the Bluejays run with a kill followed by a block, but the Braves were unable to comeback, leaving the third set at 25-23 Creighton.
On Saturday, Drake swept Bradley in three sets. Bradley held the lead at 16-15 until the Braves had five attack errors in a nine-point run by the Bulldogs. Drake won the set 25-18.
In the second set, Bradley hit a .047 while Drake had a .306 hitting percentage.
Senior Amy Reichel had seven kills in nine swings, but the Braves committed four errors and the Bulldogs went on a six point run to end the 14-14 tie, leaving the score at 20-14 Drake. The rest of the round was back and forth with Bradley scoring three more points and Drake posting win at 25-18.
The Bulldogs collected 13 kills and .520 hitting percentage in the final set, but the Braves were able to hold an 8-7 lead before Drake had a 8-2 run. Bradley kept the competition close pulling within four points of Drake at 19-15 but ultimately could not get the win leaving the score at 25-17.
“I thought our playing was up and down,” said coach Sean Burdette. “We had some good points but also had some bad errors. We came out and were put on our heels in the first set but responded with a very strong second set offensively and took control early. We had a small lead late in the third set that was back and forth but gave up a string of late points to give Creighton the win. Junior outside hitter Melissa Collins was playing well off the bench and had sparked our team’s play but sprained her ankle part way through the match.”
Reichel recorded a match-high for kills with 13 and sophomore teammate Caitlin Staib had seven kills and a .333 hitting percentage.
“We have to keep working on our sideout offense, our blocking and defending,” Burdette said. “We are a top 10 team in the nation in regards to our serving but we need to shore up our blocking. “
The Braves will be playing at home this weekend against Evansville and Southern Illinois at 7 p.m. tonight at the Markin Family Student Recreation Center.
“Both Evansville and Southern are quality teams. Southern is very athletic and are undefeated on the season,” Burdette said. “Evansville is very good defensively and will try to force you into taking bad swings.”