Valpo volleyball head coach Carin Avery announced today that Victoria Bulmahn, a 5’10” setter out of McCordsville, Ind., has signed with the Valpo program and will join the team as a freshman for the 2020 season. Bulmahn joins Mallory Januski as members of the incoming freshman class for next year.
Valpo volleyball junior libero Rylee Cookerly (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) represented the Brown and Gold on the MVC All-Tournament Team, announced on Saturday following the tournament’s conclusion. Cookerly earned the honor after posting match-high dig totals in both of Valpo’s tournament matches.
Playing shorthanded against a UNI squad which claimed the MVC regular season title and which swept the regular season finale between the two teams in swift fashion just six days ago, it would have been easy for the Valpo volleyball team to be content with their Thursday first-round tournament win, especially after the Panthers rolled to a first-set win. But for a Valpo program which is seemingly defined by the words scrappy and fight every time opposing coaches describe what it’s like to take on the Brown and Gold, that wouldn’t be the way to go out. And the 2019 iteration of the Valpo volleyball team epitomized those words against the heavy favorites Friday evening, rallying to earn a third-set victory and leading past the midway point of the fourth set before falling to UNI, 3-1 (25-9, 25-20, 20-25, 25-17) in the MVC semifinals.
For a program which entered the 2019 MVC Tournament having played five sets in four of its last six matches, it seems only appropriate that it took the fifth-seeded Valpo volleyball team the full five sets to earn a dramatic 3-2 (25-15, 23-25, 25-21, 15-25, 15-11) victory over fourth-seeded Bradley Thursday evening in the first round of tournament action in Cedar Falls, Iowa. With the win, Valpo advances to face host and top-seeded UNI Friday evening.
Valpo volleyball junior libero Rylee Cookerly (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) has earned numerous accolades and reached a multitude of milestones in her first three seasons at Valpo, but she reached another level on Thursday, as Cookerly was named the Missouri Valley Conference Libero of the Year as the MVC held its annual pre-tournament awards ceremony Thursday afternoon. Junior Peyton McCarthy (Cincinnati, Ohio/Seton) joined Cookerly as a First Team All-MVC selection as well, giving Valpo multiple First Team honorees for the first time since joining the MVC.
Valpo heads to the 2019 MVC Tournament this week in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The fifth seed in the six-team field, the Brown and Gold open the tournament Thanksgiving evening against fourth-seeded Bradley and will have to earn three victories to claim the tournament title.
The Valpo volleyball program had a pair of players recognized both for their work on the court and in the classroom on Tuesday as the Missouri Valley Conference unveiled its Scholar-Athlete teams. Junior Rylee Cookerly (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) was named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team, while fellow junior Brittany Anderson (East Chicago, Ind./Bishop Noll) was tabbed an MVC Scholar-Athlete Honorable Mention selection.
The regular season came to a close Saturday evening in Cedar Falls, Iowa for the Valpo volleyball team, as it fell in straight sets (25-20, 25-13, 25-11) to MVC regular season champion UNI. Valpo will return immediately to Cedar Falls next week for the MVC Tournament, as fifth-seeded Valpo will take on fourth-seeded Bradley on Thursday evening at 5 p.m.
25 days ago, it was the worst possible outcome for a volleyball team: losing three sets to two after having a 2-0 lead in the match. Friday night, the Valpo volleyball team flipped the script at Drake, rallying from a two-set deficit to earn a 3-2 victory over the Bulldogs – mirroring the outcome from the teams’ first meeting of the season.