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Preview: Volleyball set for South Dakota Classic

Hannah Thompson spikes against Southeast Missouri St. Photo/ Bradley Athletics

Ahead of Bradley volleyball’s appearance in the South Dakota Classic this weekend, here are six numbers that stand out from the Braves’ first five matches of the season. 

One: That’s how many wins Bradley has earned through the first five matches of the 2021 season. The Braves struggled through their first four matches of the campaign, falling to Central Michigan, DePaul and SEMO in four sets or fewer at the CEFCU Invitational in late August. Last weekend, the Braves dropped a five-set match to Oakland in their first road game of the season before sweeping Eastern Michigan in their most recent contest on Sept. 4.

Three: The amount of Bradley’s five matches this season have gone to four or more sets. The Braves are currently winless in these matches. 

Nine: Only nine games remain in Bradley’s non-conference schedule before Missouri Valley Conference play begins against Northern Iowa on Sept. 24. The Braves will face tournament host South Dakota on Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. before facing Milwaukee and Central Arkansas on Sept. 10 in Vermillion, South Dakota

394: Bradley’s point total throughout the first five matches of the season. The Braves’ strongest sets thus far have been the second and third sets, where they’ve averaged 22.4 points apiece. Bradley is averaging 20.4 points in the first set, 18 in the three matches that have had a fourth set and scored 14 points in the lone match that entered a fifth set. 

437: Bradley’s opponents are averaging slightly more points in each set than the Braves thus far, particularly during the first set in which the Braves have allowed an average of 24 points. In the three matches that have required a fourth set, the Braves are allowing an average of 21.3 points. 1,499: The number of digs that Bradley senior Hannah Thompson enters the South Dakota Classic with. One more dig would make Thompson the 10th player in Missouri Valley Conference history to tally 1,500 digs and 1,000 kills over the course of her career, and the only active player in the conference with those totals.

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