PEORIA, Ill. -- The Bradley volleyball team puts a three-match road win streak on the line this weekend, facing road tests at Indiana State Friday and at I-74 rival Illinois Saturday. BU's three road wins this season are the most in the Valley this season and the team's current three-match road win streak is the longest for the squad since 2005.
The Braves (6-6 overall, 0-1 MVC) look to get back in the win column after an 0-3 weekend, which included losses to preseason Valley favorite and three-time defending MVC champion Northern Iowa, defending Mid-American Conference champion Northern Illinois and defending Sun Belt West Division champ Arkansas State.
Both Bradley and Indiana State (2-10 overall, 0-2 MVC) are looking for their first conference wins of the year when the teams meet in Terre Haute, Ind., Friday at 6 p.m. (CDT). The squads have split the regular season series each of the last two years and four of the last eight matchups have gone to a deciding fifth set.
Following Friday's tilt against the Sycamores, Bradley makes the short trek down I-74 to face Illinois State (7-5 overall, 1-1 MVC) Saturday for the first round of the I-74 rivalry as the Braves look to snap a nine-match losing streak at Redbird Arena Saturday at 7 p.m. The Redbirds enter a Friday matchup with Northern Iowa coming off a three-set road loss at Southern Illinois, but have won four of their last five overall
BradleyBraves.com will provide a link to live stats for both weekend contests. After the weekend road swing, Bradley will play six of the next eight matches at Renaissance Coliseum beginning with the Sept. 28 contest against Wichita State.
Junior Amy Angelos (Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan), who earned all-tournament honors at the CEFCU Classic last weekend, has averaged 2.85 kills per set and owns a .342 career attack percentage in four previous matchups with Illinois State. Angelos leads BU with a .293 attack percentage and is averaging 2.74 kills per set this season.
Fellow junior Lauren Zerante (Elmhurst, Ill./York) has notched 20 or more digs in four of the last six matches, averaging 4.38 digs per set during that stretch. She enters the weekend needing 17 digs to reach 500 for her career.
Senior Madelyn Ervin (Lewis Center, Ohio/Olentangy) and junior Alise Tupuritis (Des Plaines, Ill./Maine West) both recently topped the 500-kill mark. Tupurutis is currently 35th in school history with 535 career kills and is averaging a team-best 3.11 kills per set.
Ervin, who is averaging career highs for kills (2.04), digs (1.59) and blocks (.078), is the 39th player in school history to reach the 500 career-kill mark. She leads the team with 14 aces this fall and is BU's active career leader with 64 aces.