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).

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