On the first day of play in the tournament, the Braves made easy work of their first opponent, Southern Utah, by sweeping them in three sets (25-22, 25-26, 25-17). The Braves then came back from a 2-1 deficit in the first game of day two to defeat SIU-E in five sets (25-19, 23-25, 22-25, 25-20, 16-14).
After a tough victory, the Braves showed no signs of being tired as they took the nightcap and the championship, beating tournament host Omaha in four sets (25-14, 26-24, 23-25, 25-21).
The Braves were led by senior Amy Angleos, who was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Seniors Amy Tupuritis and Lauren Zerante were both named to the All-Tournament team.
Coach Jenny Maurer had praise for her seniors, who are consistently putting up good numbers in each match.
“What we are getting out of them (Zerante, Tupuritis and Angleos) is consistent play and the reward is the great play throughout the team,” Maurer said. “We can count on the seniors statistically to continue to produce in a certain way, which allows some of the new players playing for the first time to see what it is all about.”
Maurer contributes the team’s great start to focusing on one match at a time and good, consistent play from the whole team.
“We focused on one team at a time and each team had a unique set of characteristics, strengths and even weaknesses, so we wanted to prepare for each team individually,” Maurer said. “We have a much more diversified team this year and we have a lot of different options to mold ourselves to continue to get better.”
The Braves moved to 5-1 on the season and head to St. Louis to partake in the 2013 Billiken Challenge next weekend before heading home to begin Missouri Valley Conference play on Sept. 22 against Drake.
Maurer said she knows that the upcoming tournament will be a tough one but her team is prepared to take on the competition.
“These are three very tough teams that we are going to play against and these teams are very similar to the play that we will see in MVC part of our schedule,” Maurer said. “Something we have been doing here since day one is focusing on our game and at the end of the day we have to play Bradley volleyball and what is characteristic to us.”