Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Rally, Fall in Five to Salukis
Amy Groesbeck posted a team-best 13 kills on .423 hitting en route to earning All-Tournament accolades. (Teri LaJeunesse)
Amy Groesbeck posted a team-best 13 kills on .423 hitting en route to earning All-Tournament accolades. (Teri LaJeunesse)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Valparaiso fought back from a two sets to none deficit Saturday evening against host Southern Illinois in the championship match at the Saluki Invitational, but could not complete the comeback, as Southern Illinois earned the 3-2 (25-9, 25-19, 18-25, 20-25, 15-8) victory.  Amy Groesbeck (Wheaton, Ill./North) and Kim Bukowski (Waukesha, Wis./West) represented the Crusaders on the All-Tournament Team.

“You have to give Southern Illinois credit tonight,” said Crusader head coach Carin Avery.  “They came out fired up in front of their home crowd in a great atmosphere.  They’re a good team and played well and that’s why they’re undefeated.”

The opening set was close early on, as Katie Layman (LaPorte, Ind./New Prairie), Angie Porché (Lynwood, Ill./Thornton Fractional South) and Tara Diebler (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) each tallied early kills to go with a Haley Wise (Mishawaka, Ind./Mishawaka) service ace.  But with the score tied at 5-5, the Salukis rolled off 19 of the next 21 points to take control of the opener.

Southern Illinois looked like it had control of the second set as well, taking a 13-7 advantage midway through the set.  But a Saluki service error sent Diebler back to the service line, and she would stay there for the next six points, recording a pair of service aces along the way.  Layman and Jenny Pokorny (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) each registered kills during the 7-0 run as well, and Diebler’s second ace gave Valpo its first lead in the first two sets.  After the teams traded sideouts, however, SIU proceeded to score the next six points in a row to take control and go into the in-game break up two sets.

The Crusaders took advantage of a multitude of Southern Illinois errors to keep even in the early stages of the third and then busted out the offense during a 7-1 run, getting two kills from Britton along with terminations from Bukowski and Groesbeck along the way, as well as a service ace from Bukowski to cap the run and make it 16-12 Valpo.  A pair of Crusader errors cut their lead to two, but SIU handed the points right back with two errors of their own.  Porché then registered back-to-back kills to push the lead back to six points, a lead which Valpo would not let get under four points the rest of the way as they moved the match to a fourth set.

Valpo rode the momentum from the third set win right into the fourth set, starting the frame on a 10-3 run, including a pair of service aces from Andrea Balsis (Benton Harbor, Mich./Coloma) and two kills by Layman.  SIU fought back, however, taking six of the next eight points and forcing a Crusader timeout with the lead cut to 12-9.

The Crusaders and Salukis traded sideouts for the next seven points before a Groesbeck kill broke the string and pushed the Valpo advantage to five points at 17-12.  Following an error, Porché and Layman each tallied kills to make it 19-13, and while SIU would score the next three points, Groesbeck picked up a pair of terminations along with one from Britton to keep the Salukis at bay and send the match to a decisive fifth frame.

But the Crusaders were unable to stop a Southern Illinois run to open the final set.  The Salukis sided out on the first point of the frame and Rachael Brown stepped back to the service line to serve seven straight points, including a trio of aces.  By the time Valpo could hit the board, SIU held an 8-1 lead, and while a 3-0 spurt later in the set on two kills by Groesbeck and one by Porché brought the Crusaders to within 11-6, they could get no closer the rest of the way.

Groesbeck paced the Crusader offense against the Salukis with 13 kills on a stellar .423 hitting percentage.  Porché was the only other Crusader to reach double figures, posting ten terminations.  Bukowski handed out 18 assists, while Pokorny dished out 16 helpers.  Taylor Root (Jenison, Mich./Jenison) led the defensive effort with 11 digs along with ten from Balsis.

“On our side, we just really didn’t have a good match all-around,” said Avery.  “There really wasn’t one part of our game that was on, and when you’re outplayed in every part of the game, it’s tough to win matches.  That doesn’t take away from the fact we did some good things this weekend, and I am proud of the fact we fought back from two sets down to force a fifth set.”

Valparaiso (5-4) opens Horizon League play this coming Friday as they make their longest trip of the league season, traveling to Youngstown State for a 6 p.m. CDT match.  Every point can be heard live on WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso and online at www.valpoathletics.com, which will also have links for live stats and video.

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