Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Hang Tough, Fall in Three in Opener
Angie Porché tallied a team-best 15 kills Friday. (Ray Acevedo)
Angie Porché tallied a team-best 15 kills Friday. (Ray Acevedo)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Valparaiso hung tough against Big 12 foe Colorado Friday afternoon in action at the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational in Gainesville, Fla., earning ties or leads late in all three frames, but the Buffaloes eventually earned the 3-0 (31-29, 25-23, 25-21) victory over the Crusaders.

“I think we did a good job today considering that we are not only replacing three starters from last year, but also lost Val Bollenbacher for the match with an injury very early on,” said Crusader head coach Carin Avery.  “We ran several different lineups today and tried different people playing different positions, and had some good success with some of our moves.”

The opening set saw Valpo fall behind by three points early at 9-6 before the Crusaders strung together a 6-0 run.  Jenny Pokorny (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) got the run started with a kill, and after a pair of CU attack errors, combined with Katie Layman (LaPorte, Ind./New Prairie) on a block.  Tara Diebler (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) followed with a service ace, and Layman capped the spurt with a kill.

The Crusaders extended the advantage to as many as four points, at 17-13, on a kill by Angie Porché (Lynwood, Ill./Thornton Fractional South), one of eight terminations for her in the opening frame.  The Buffaloes rallied, eventually tying the set at 19 points apiece and setting up an end sequence that saw neither team gain more than a one-point advantage until the final point.

Valpo had a pair of set points at 24-23 on a Porché kill and at 25-24 on a Colorado service error, but could not convert on either.  The Crusaders held off four CU set points before Kerra Schroeder came up with a service ace at 30-29 to give the Buffaloes the 1-0 advantage.

In the second set, Colorado got off to a quick start, using a pair of 4-0 spurts in the first half of the frame to go ahead by six points at 14-8.  But the Crusaders did not give in, staying within striking distance until getting to a four-point deficit at 21-17.  Valpo then took advantage of a pair of CU attack errors, along with a service ace by Taylor Root (Jenison, Mich./Jenison) and a kill by Amy Groesbeck (Wheaton, Ill./North) to pull into a 21-all draw.

Colorado responded with a kill, but terminations by Groesbeck and Katie Britton (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian) gave Valpo its first lead since early on in the set, just two points away from evening up the match.  Colorado’s Kaitlyn Burkett came up with a kill to knot up the score at 23, and after a Crusader error gave the Buffaloes set point, Burkett recorded a service ace to give CU the set.

Valpo rushed out of the gate with four straight points in the third set, on a pair of kills by Porché to go along with a Pokorny kill and a CU attack error.  The Buffaloes came right back with four points of their own, but a quartet of CU errors gave Valpo an 8-6 advantage.  Porché then tallied another kill, followed by a Groesbeck rally-ender, to push the lead back out to the original four-point edge.

The Crusaders maintained a two-to-four point lead for most of the set, as a Britton kill made it 17-15, but Colorado rolled off four straight points to take its first lead of the frame at 19-17.  Valpo responded immediately, as Groesbeck and Britton tallied kills, but that would be the last tie of the match, as Colorado scored six of the final eight points to earn the sweep.

Porché paced the Crusader offense with 15 kills while swinging at a .344 clip, surpassing the 1,600 kill milestone for her career with her first kill of the match.  She was the only Valpo player to reach double figures in kills, however, as Groesbeck was second on the squad with nine kills on .368 hitting in her first career start.  Kim Bukowski (Waukesha, Wis./West) handed out a team-high 22 assists, while Pokorny added 11 helpers of her own.

On the defensive side of the ball, Porché and freshman libero Root tied for team-high honors with 14 digs.  Porché reached 800 digs for her career with her 13th dig of the match, while Root earned the start at libero in her first career match.  At the net, Layman led the way with three rejections for Valpo.

Colorado (1-0) was paced by 17 kills by Becah Fogle and also received 12 terminations from Schroeder.  Ellen Henry picked up a match-best 15 digs on the back line, while five CU players combined for 11 service aces.

“In the end, our problem was we just didn’t execute as well as we need to to win,” said Avery.  “We had some opportunities when we got a big dig or took Colorado out of system, but just couldn’t capitalize with kills.  We also need to sharpen up our ball-handling on passing and defense to be successful.”

Valparaiso (0-1) concludes play in Gainesville on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. CDT with a match against UNLV.  The match will be carried live on WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso and online at www.valpoathletics.com, which will also have a link for live stats.

W Golf IPFW Spring Invitational Fort Wayne, Ind. (Chestnut Hills G.C.)
Apr 6 4th/12 (311)
W Tennis Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 6 Milwaukee 7
Softball Detroit 0 VU Softball Field
Apr 6 Valpo 8
Baseball Wright State 4 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 6 Valpo 2
W Golf IPFW Spring Invitational Fort Wayne, Ind. (Chestnut Hills G.C.)
Apr 7 9th/12 (642)
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
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
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
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
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