MILWAUKEE – The Alverno volleyball team closed out its home season on Friday evening, hosting the Illinois Tech Scarlet Hawks inside Reiman Gymnasium. The Inferno fell in straight sets by the scores of 25-17, 25-22, 25-19.
Prior to the match the Alverno volleyball team and the Alverno athletic department recognized the efforts of four-year senior Cailey Jeske for her dedication to the Inferno program.
Leading the way for Alverno during the three-set affair was freshman Catie Flannery, who tallied 10 kills in 24 swings. Jeske was second on the team with eight kills as she led with a .353 kill percentage.
Sophomore Arianna Rehberg powered seven kills for the Inferno, while classmate Neilee Newton notched five on the night. Junior Sam Korn led the team with 14 assists, while freshman Alex McMath contributed with eight on the evening.
Alverno had a slim 6-5 edge in aces on the match, with Newton and Flannery tallying two apiece. McMath added one, while Jeske tallied one more ace in her Reiman Gymnasium career as she will depart the program as the all-time leader in aces.
Defensively it was sophomore Morgan Lemner to lead with 13 digs, while McMath was second on the team with five. Jeske and McMath notched solo blocks, while Jeske and freshman Rachel Manselle combined for the team's third block.
Illinois Tech jumped out to a quick lead in the opening set at 11-4. The Inferno called a timeout and scored the next two points including a kill by McMath to get some momentum back in favor of Alverno.
Down by 10 at 18-8, Jeske notched a kill followed by another kill from Flannery and an ace from McMath and another kill from Jeske for a four-point run to pull the Inferno back within four. Alverno put together a 6-1 run late in the set but it was not enough as Illinois Tech won 25-18.
Alverno trailed 17-10 in the second set, as the Inferno opened the set in similar fashion to the first. Jeske tallied a block to get momentum back in favor of the Inferno that led to two kills from Flannery and one more from Jeske as Alverno chipped away to make it a three-point deficit at 18-15.
Flannery put together a strong service rally as she opened with a kill to gain service back in favor of the red and black before connecting on back-to-back service aces. Alverno trailed by 22-19, which eventually turned into a two-point deficit at 24-22 before the Scarlet Hawks notched the last point to take a two-set advantage.
In the third the Scarlet Hawks opened a 5-0 advantage before the Inferno wrestled the lead back behind an ace from Newton, and kills by both Jeske and Rehberg to give Alverno a 7-6 lead. A 13-3 run in favor of Illinois Tech gave the Scarlet Hawks enough breathing room, or so they thought.
A service error by Illinois Tech at 20-9 gave a point and service back to Alverno. Newton was in rotation to serve and connected on one service ace, while Flannery, Rehberg, and Jeske all tallied kills as Alverno pulled within five at 22-17. The rally was not enough as it was the Scarlet Hawks to take the set by a 25-19 score.
Alverno (2-24, 0-11 NACC) is back to action on Saturday afternoon with a 1 p.m. start at nearby Mount Mary University at 1 p.m.