The Valparaiso volleyball team defeated first place Oral Roberts 30-22, 25-30, 30-25, 35-33 in front of more than 800 fans at a loud Athletics-Recreation Center on Saturday night.
The Crusaders used .262 hitting in the opener to win game one, while the Golden Eagles utilized five service aces in game two to pull even at intermission. Valpo hit .264 in game three to retake the lead, then rallied from an 18-7 deficit in game four to pull out the 35-33 win.
Marion Hansen (Huntley, Ill./Huntley H.S.), Michelle Robinson (Bloomington, Ill./Normal H.S.), and Elissa Malthaner (Brighton, Mich./Brighton H.S.) all tallied 14 kills to lead the Crusaders. Hansen and Sara Silcox (Michigan City, Ind./Michigan City H.S.) each added 20 digs on the evening. Sarah Schmalz (Corona, Calif./Riverside Christian H.S.) chipped in 16 digs, while Cyndi Norman (Minooka, Ill./Minooka H.S.) added 15 for the Brown and Gold. Heather Hynds (Sylvan Lake, Ill./Mundelein H.S.) and Malthaner each tallied nine blocks, while Norman dished out 46 assists.
Patricia Menezes led the Golden Eagles with 19 kills and 16 digs, while April Syko had 13 kills and 11 digs. Celeste Jones and Becky Brunelle were each in double-figures in kills with 13 and 11 respectively. Becky Dreher tallied a match-high 27 digs and Anna Moreno dished out 50 assists for Oral Roberts.
Each team tallied 65 kills as Valpo outdug the Golden Eagles by the slight 95-94 margin. The Crusaders tallied 14 blocks to Oral Roberts nine. The visitors tallied nine service aces, but were hindered by 19 service errors.
The win was Valpo's tenth straight at the ARC to close the home portion of the schedule, and 16th straight win in Mid-Con action at the ARC.
The Crusaders will travel to IUPUI next Saturday evening for a 4 p.m. CST match with the Jaguars.