Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
First-Place Valpo Travels To Play Western Illinois

Friday, February 07, 2003

VALPO (12-8, 6-1) at WESTERN ILLINOIS (6-13, 2-5)

WHEN: Saturday, February 8 - 7:30 p.m. CST

WHERE: Western Hall, Macomb, Illinois

TV: (tape-delay) - None

RADIO: WEFM (95.9, Michigan City), WVUR-FM (95.1, Valparaiso) - Todd Ickow and Andrew Stem announcing.

THE COACHES: Valparaiso is guided by Scott Drew, who has a career record of 12-8 in his 1st season. Western Illinois is led by Jim Kerwin, who has a career mark of 134-166 in his 11th season.

SERIES RECORD: Valpo leads 25-24
LAST MEETING: 1-11-03 - Valpo won 74-57 in Valparaiso.

LAST GAME: Valpo defeated Charlotte 73-59 on Tuesday in Valparaiso. Western Illinois lost to Oral Roberts 87-77 last Saturday in Macomb, Illinois.

NEXT UP: Valpo travels to play at Chicago State on Thursday at 7 p.m.

The second half of the Mid-Continent Conference season begins Saturday as first-place Valpo (12-8, 6-1 Mid-Con) journeys to Macomb to play Western Illinois (6-13, 2-5 Mid-Con). The Crusaders won the first meeting between the teams 74-57 on Jan. 11 in Valparaiso. Raitis Grafs and Roberto Nieves topped Valpo with 16 points each in the contest.

The Crusaders are coming off a 73-59 victory over Charlotte on Tuesday. Stalin Ortiz scored a career-high 29 points, draining four-of-four from 3-point territory. Grafs added 17 points. Dan Oppland grabbed a team-high seven rebounds off the bench.

Western Illinois, currently on a four-game losing streak, has not played since last Saturday. The Leathernecks dropped an 87-77 contest to Oral Roberts in Macomb.

GRAFS CONTINUES TO ROLL: Raitis Grafs, who earned Mid-Con Player of the Week honors on Jan. 27, has continued his stellar play. In the last five games, Grafs has averaged 22.0 points and 6.0 rebounds. In an 84-71 win over Oral Roberts, the 6'11" senior scored 29 points. He added 24 points last Saturday against UMKC. Over the last three games, Grafs made 27 of 41 shots (.659).

MORE GRAFS: With 1,468 career points, Raitis Grafs has moved into 8th place on Valpo's all-time scoring list. The native of Riga, Latvia is 3rd on the school's all-time rebounding list with 782. Grafs, Valpo's all-time blocked shots leader, now has 202.

TONAGEL LEADS MID-CON IN ASSIST/TURNOVER RATIO: Greg Tonagel tops the Mid-Con in assist/turnover ratio through games of Feb. 5. The 6'3" senior has earned a 3.0 ratio, averaging 3.9 assists and 1.3 turnovers per contest.

ORTIZ ON HOT STREAK: Stalin Ortiz, who is coming off a career-high 29 points against Charlotte, has averaged 19.0 points and 6.8 rebounds per game over the last six games. The senior from Cali, Colombia also recorded his first career double-double with 14 points and a career-high 12 rebounds against UMKC.

THE ROAD AWAITS: Beginning with Saturday's game at Western Illinois, Valpo will play three straight road contests. The Crusaders play at Chicago State on Thursday (7 p.m.) before travelling to Southern Utah for next Saturday's game (8:35 p.m. CST, 7:35 p.m. MST).

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 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. #21/21 Notre Dame
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
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
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
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Green Bay
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Valpo