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Volleyball loses three straight

Originally published in the September 17, 2010 issue

Despite a home court advantage, the volleyball team struggled in three consecutive losses last weekend.

The Braves dropped contests to Hofstra University, Presbyterian College and Valparaiso University.

The opening game of the CEFCU Classic paired Bradley against Hofstra.

After losing the first set, the Braves battled back to win the second and fourth to force a fifth  set. It proved to be the only match of the weekend to go the distance.

The Braves held a 6-5 lead in the final set before Hofstra went on a 5-1 spurt that ultimately put the match out of reach.

Junior Megan Schmidt had a career-high 16 kills in the losing effort.

Bradley looked to rebound the next day with a match against Presbyterian.

The Braves began the match with an opening set victory, but the team sputtered, losing three consecutive sets to give the Blue Hens the victory 3-1.

Freshman Amy Angelos had 10 kills and three blocks and junior Genevieve Dejean tied a career-best with 20 digs.

With a 0-2 record heading into the final contest of the weekend, Bradley was already eliminated from contention to win the tournament. But the team continued to battle and looked to salvage a victory against Valparaiso.

The Braves once again claimed the first set only to be toppled in the next three.

Schmidt and senior Caitlin Staib each tallied 11 kills to lead the team.

Schmidt also received all-tournament honors after posting 32 kills in three matches.

Valparaiso with a perfect 3-0 record was crowned champions of the 2010 CEFCU Classic.

Although the Braves struggled in three consecutive losses this weekend, team members remain optimistic about the rest of the season.

“We are developing as a team and the season is still young,” sophomore Shelly Mueller said. “But we have definitely improved from our first weekend already.”

Sophomore Allie Gardner said the team has a lot of room to grow.

“I feel we have only scratched the surface of what we are capable of achieving,” she said.

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