Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Split Pair of Matches to Open 2010 Campaign
Taylor Root posted 50 digs over Friday's two matches. (Ray Acevedo)
Taylor Root posted 50 digs over Friday's two matches. (Ray Acevedo)

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Valparaiso volleyball team opened the 2010 season with a split of two matches on Friday in Philadelphia, Pa., defeating La Salle 3-1 (25-12, 20-25, 25-18, 25-16) to open the La Salle Invitational after falling to Virginia earlier in the day, 3-1 (24-26, 25-10, 25-14, 28-26). The win over La Salle marked the 250th victory in head coach Carin Avery's career.

“We had a good passing game today,” said Avery. “Defensively, we did a good job keeping the ball off the ground and in play. We still need to work on our attacking and figure out where our kills are going to come from on a consistent basis. Our consistency overall still needs to improve as well. I'm happy to get to 250 career wins, and what really excites me about it is that it's a direct reflection of the number of great players that I've coached.”

The Crusaders had no trouble with La Salle in the opening set, as with the Explorers within 4-3, Valpo put together a 17-4 rush to take control and cruised to the victory. But the second set went the other direction, as with a number of reserves seeing action, the Crusaders struggled, hitting just .022 for the set. La Salle claimed the lead for good at 13-12 and never relinquished it as the match entered the in-game break knotted up at one set apiece.

Out of the gate in set three, the Crusaders looked to take control, earning the first three points of the frame. But La Salle rallied to take an 11-10 edge before Valpo dropped the hammer, scoring 12 of the next 16 points, capped by an ace by Val Bollenbacher (Bremen, Ind./Bremen), to go up 22-15 and eventually go up two sets to one.

The Crusaders led start to finish in the eventual decisive frame, but La Salle briefly closed in on Valpo in the second half of the set, pulling to within one at 15-14. Once again, however, the Crusaders went on a big run, as Jenny Pokorny (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) started things with a kill and went back to the service line and contributed two aces. The three points sparked a 10-2 spurt, with the final point of the match coming on a La Salle error

No Crusader finished in double figures in the kills department, as Katie Layman (LaPorte, Ind./New Prairie) led the way with nine kills on .304 hitting. Katie Britton (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian) had eight kills, while Bollenbacher and Sarah Dooms (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove) had seven apiece. Bollenbacher's seven kills came on 20 swings without committing an attack error

Pokorny put together a solid all-around match, handing out 33 assists while also tallying 10 digs, five kills and three aces. Taylor Root (Jenison, Mich./Jenison) led all players with 27 digs, with Dooms chipping in 12 digs of her own. The Crusaders put up ten blocks at the net, five apiece coming off the hands of Bollenbacher and Layman

The first match of the day had Valpo facing Virginia in Temple's gym. Finding themselves down 12-8 midway through the opening set, the Crusaders put together a quick 5-1 spurt to knot the frame up at 13 apiece. Tara Diebler (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) and Dooms combined on a block to start the run, while Britton and Pokorny each had kills during the rally as well

From that point, neither squad could gain more than a two-point advantage in the opening set. Virginia would earn the first set point opportunity, but a kill by Layman tied the action at 24-all. Dooms followed with a termination of her own to give Valpo its own chance to end the opener, and Bollenbacher gave Valpo the 1-0 edge with a kill.

Virginia held a distinct edge in each of the next two sets, combining to hit .375 while holding Valpo to a -.033 clip to earn the 2-1 advantage. The Crusaders held a three-point lead late in the fourth set at 21-18, but Virginia went on a five-point run to take the lead and eventually won the set and the match in extra points on a pair of Crusader hitting errors.

Britton and Diebler tied for team-high honors with nine kills against the Cavaliers, while Root led five Crusaders in double figures with 23 digs. Pokorny registered a double-double, handing out 30 assists while also picking up 10 digs and five kills, and Dooms tallied 10 digs of her own in her first collegiate match. Simone Asque led Virginia with a match-best 30 kills.

Valparaiso (1-1) concludes play at the La Salle Invitational with a pair of matches on Saturday. The Crusaders will face Hartford at noon CDT before taking on Niagara at 3 p.m. Both matches 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 a live chat.

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