Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Drop Nail-Biter at Western Illinois

Friday, October 06, 2006

Angie Porché (Lynwood, Ill./Thornton-Fractional South) had more kills than any Crusader this season and Sara Hughes (San Antonio, Texas/Perrysburg, Ohio, H.S.) had the second best passing night in program history, but the Brown and Gold dropped a heartbreaking 25-30, 30-28, 21-30, 30-27, 18-16 decision Friday night at Western Illinois.

The loss was Valpo's second Mid-Con defeat in as many Fridays, and secured the first two-loss conference season for the Crusaders since 2002. The Brown and Gold have lost only four times in Mid-Con play since the start of the 2003 season, and all four defeats have come in five games.

Friday, Valpo burst out strong in search of their 13th win in a row over the Westerwinds, taking game one 30-25 on the strength of a .500 hitting percentage, highlighted by six kills each from Tiffany Meikle (Cottage Grove, Wis./Monona Grove) and Nicole Schulz (Kewaskum, Wis./Kettle Moraine Lutheran). Hughes, en route to 78 assists on the night, had 23 in game one assisted on all but one of Valpo's 24 kills in the game.

After dropping a tight game two, the Crusaders closed game three on a 16-6 run to move within one game of taking the match, but again in game four Western Illinois squeaked out a win to force a fifth game.

In the decisive game, Valpo raced out quickly to an 11-6 lead behind three quick Porché kills. But the Westerwinds scored the next five points on four consecutive Valpo attack errors, and eventually went ahead 15-14 on an Ashley Baker kill. The Crusaders, however, would not relent, staving off three match points before Patty Melinauskas sent the over 700 fans home happy from Western Hall with the winning kill.

Hughes, who had set a career-high with 69 assists earlier this season, finished the match with an astounding 78 assists, the second highest total in Crusader history. Only Jenny Rohren, who had 81 on Halloween of 1998, has had more assists in a single match.

The beneficiaries of all those assists, of course, were the Valpo hitters, five of whom racked up double-digit kills. The freshman Porché led that charge with a career-high 23 kills and a .306 hitting percentage. Jessie Fox (Granger, Ind./Penn) was next with 17 kills, the sixth straight match the senior has reached double-figures.

Miekle, who had been battling for playing time before a strong performance against Oral Roberts last weekend, had a career-high 16 kills to go along with 17 digs and two aces. Schulz, with 14, and Allison Sears (Elkhart, Ind./Memorial), who had 13, also reached the double-figure mark. Valpo had 86 kills as a team, the fourth highest single-match total in program history.

Ashley Baker led Western Illinois (7-10, 3-0 Mid-Con) with 23 kills, hitting .386. The Crusaders had a higher hitting percentage than the Westerwinds, but the hosts had 11 blocks to only six for Valpo.

The Brown and Gold (11-7, 2-2 Mid-Con) will look to right the ship Saturday night when they take on UMKC at 7:00 p.m. in Kansas City, Mo. Valpo will be back at home next Friday and Saturday at 7:00 p.m., taking on IUPUI and Chicago State respectively.

box score
season stats
News Categories
Softball Northern Illinois 6 VU Softball Field
Apr 8 Valpo 8
Baseball Valpo 5 Evanston, Ill.
Apr 8 Northwestern 12
Softball Northern Illinois 3 8 inn.
Apr 8 Valpo 4
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 11:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
W Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 5:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26 Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo