Valparaiso needed five grueling games to defeat IPFW 30-18, 28-30, 30-24, 22-30, 15-10 at the Athletics-Recreation Center on Tuesday evening.
After game one it looked as if the Crusaders would cruise to victory, as the Brown and Gold hit .300 in the opener and held the Mastadons to negative hitting (-.029).
IPFW had other plans however, as the two schools slugged it out over the next four games. Valpo's defense proved to be the victor in game five as IPFW had eight attack errors in hitting -.185, while Valpo managed just five kills of its own.
Both teams had more than 215 swings in the match with IPFW outdigging Valpo 114-97 when all was said and done. The Mastadons put down 64 kills to the Crusaders 58, but also committed 22 more attack errors.
Michelle Robinson (Bloomington, Ill./Normal H.S.) and Marion Hansen (Huntley, Ill./Huntley H.S.) each recorded double-doubles for the Brown and Gold in the victory. Robinson tallied a team-high 20 kills and added 13 digs, while Hansen added 18 kills and a team-high 26 digs.
Heather Hynds (Sylvan Lake, Ill./Mundelein H.S.) added ten kills for Valpo, hitting .296, while Sara Silcox (Michigan City, Ind./Michigan City H.S.) tallied 25 digs. Cyndi Norman (Minooka, Ill./Minooka H.S.) dished out 44 assists.
Fabiana Souza led IPFW with 21 kills on the evening, while Janelle Pollard added 19 for the visitors. Sarah Leffers had a match-high 29 digs, while Kirsta Solberg added 22. Lindi Bankowski dished out 56 assists.
Valparaiso has now won eight straight home matches, and will look to extend their winning streak on Friday evening when they host UMKC. First serve is slated for 7 p.m.