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Bulldogs Chop Down Sycamores For First MVC Road Win Of 2012

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: October 12, 2012
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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Drake volleyball defeated the Indiana State Sycamores, 3-1, Friday night for its first Missouri Valley Conference road win of the season. Game scores were 25-20, 25-22, 19-25 and 25-20 as the Bulldogs improved their record to 3-15 overall and 2-6 in the MVC. The loss drops Indiana State to 3-15 and 1-7 in the MVC on the season.

Sophomore outside hitter Amanda Platte (Mount Vernon, Iowa) led the Bulldogs' attack with 13 kills and has recorded double-figure kills in four straight matches.  Senior Jadranka Tramosljanin (Ruma, Serbia) added a double-double with 11 kills and 21 digs and now has a team-best eight double-doubles this fall. Tramosljanin came into the match as the top server in the Valley with 25 aces and tonight added five more. Freshman Cassie Effken (Lincoln, Neb.) finished with nine kills, four digs and two blocks.

Sarah Madden (Van Meter, Iowa) posted 22 digs and added six assists as she and Tramosljanin continue to provide strong back row defense for Drake. Halli Meyer (Bettendorf, Iowa) and Rebecca Brown (Bentonville, Ark.) split time again at the setter position for the Bulldogs and finished with 18 and 16 assists, respectively.

"Our outsides and the middles stepped up tonight even though it might not show in the box score," head coach Tony Sunga said. "Katie (Dulek) and Cassie really helped open things up for the outsides, and what a great job by Rebecca and Halli setting things up and working well as a two-person unit."

Drake held a 14-8 lead in the fourth set after a service ace by Tramosljanin forced a Sycamores timeout. The action picked up out of the timeout as the Bulldogs built a 20-15 lead before the Sycamores ripped off three straight points to cut the deficit to 20-18 and force a Bulldogs timeout. Back-to-back kills by Shea Doran evened the set at 20-20, but the young Bulldogs were not intimidated as they responded with five straight points to take the match.

The night got off to a fast start in the opening set as the two teams were tied seven times and there were three lead changes. Drake jumped out to an early 16-12 lead after a kill by Tramosljanin, but Indiana State rallied to tie it at 18-18 after a service ace. The Bulldogs called timeout and came out of the break to score seven of the final nine points to take game one, 25-20.

Set number two continued at a high pace with nine ties and five lead changes. This time it was Indiana State who built an early lead going ahead 17-13 after a ball-handling error by Meyer. Drake called a timeout and came out fighting to tie the match at 20-20 with a service ace by Meyer. Indiana State was forced to take a timeout. The Bulldogs came out of the break focused as they outscored the Sycamores 5-2, the last points on kills by Dulek and Effken for the 25-22 win.

Indiana State won the third set, 25-19 as the Bulldogs struggled with eight errors.

Drake finished with a season-high 11 service aces and have 20 aces in the past two matches. The Bulldogs finished with 47 kills and 36 assists.

Drake will travel to Normal, Ill. to face Illinois State tomorrow night at 7 p.m. Live stats will be available at www.godrakebulldogs.com.

"We need to carry our effort and the work hard attitude to tomorrow night against a good Illinois State team," Sunga said. "It will be tough tomorrow, but I think we can match up if we bring a high level of effort along with energy like we did tonight."

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