Led by 13 kills on just 15 attacks by reigning Mid-Con Offensive Player of the Week Nicole Schulz (Kewaskum, Wis./Kettle Moraine Lutheran), Valparaiso downed Chicago State in a non-conference matchup Friday night in Chicago, Ill., 30-19, 30-19, 30-19.
Schulz also did not commit any attack errors amid her 15 swings, giving her an .867 hitting percentage for the match. The .867 mark is the best by any Mid-Con player this season in a match, and ranks as the second-best single match performance in Crusader history, only trailing Cyndi Norman's .917 clip at Western Illinois in 2000. Schulz is on pace to smash Valpo's single-season hitting percentage record, which currently sits at .311, as she is hitting at a .338 clip on the year.
The Crusaders got off to a quick start, running out to a 10-4 lead in game one and cruising from there. Game two saw the Cougars come as close as 17-16 after holding leads early in the game, but Valpo answered with a 6-1 run to secure the second frame. The Brown and Gold scored the first four points of game three and never looked back as they completed the sweep.
Kim Bukowski (Waukesha, Wis./West) had a solid outing as the primary setter, recording her first career double-double. Bukowski dished out 44 assists for the Crusaders and tallied a career-best 12 digs, while also contributing four kills on just seven attacks.
Angie Porché (Lynwood, Ill./Thornton Fractional South) contributed nine kills on just 15 attacks for Valpo, hitting at a .533 clip for the match. On the back line, Brittany Marks (Elkhart, Ind./Memorial) continued her consecutive match streak leading Valpo in digs, extending the string to 37 straight matches with a 14-dig effort.
Jessica Khouri paced the Cougars with seven kills, as Chicago State (0-31) managed just 25 markers for the match. Christine Eberhardt tallied 11 digs to lead CSU.
Valparaiso (19-11) extends its stretch of victories over Chicago State to 33, and will look to clinch second place outright in the Mid-Con standings Saturday night when the Crusaders travel to IUPUI. First serve is set for 6 p.m., and all the action can be heard live at www.sportsjuice.com, with Eric Brooks and Adam Amin on the call.