EVANSVILLE, Ind.—The Indiana State volleyball team (2-10, 0-2 MVC) traded sets with the Purple Aces of Evansville (4-9, 1-1 MVC) but fell in five sets to end their opening weekend of Missouri Valley Conference play.
In the first set the Sycamores led from the opening point and pulled out to their largest lead of the set of seven at 21-14 off a kill by senior Shea Doran and an attack error by the Purple Aces. Freshman Cassandra Willis put the set away with a kill to win the set 25-18.
The Purple Aces answered the Sycamores call in the second set, leading wire to wire en route to a 25-18 set win and to tie the match at a set apiece.
Indiana State retook the match lead with a dominating 25-13 win in the third set to take a 2-1 set lead over UE. Junior Molly Murphy started off the set with a kill and and ace to get things going for ISU and the team never looked back. The Sycamores finished the set by winning the final five points.
The Purple Aces would not go away, however, as they won the fourth set 25-20 to tie the match at two sets apiece and forced a fifth set, the sixth match this season the Sycamores have had go the full distance.
The Purple Aces started the fifth set off on a 6-1 run and the Sycamores could not recover as the fell in the fifth set 15-7 and dropped the match three sets to two.
Doran again led the team and had a double double with 26 kills and 15 digs for the Sycamores. Junior Loni Mackinson added 51 assists for the Sycamores and 17 digs.
The Sycamores will next play on Friday as they have their Missouri Valley Conference home opener against the Braves of Bradley.