After dominating the opening game of the match, Valparaiso's hitting struggled the rest of the way, but the Crusaders pulled out a 3-1 victory over Western Illinois on Friday evening at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
Valpo hit .400 with 16 kills in the opening game, but struggled to hit above .108 the rest of the way in the 30-14, 28-30, 30-24, 30-28 victory.
Heather Hynds (Sylvan Lake, Ill./Mundelein H.S.) led the Crusaders with 13 kills, while Michelle Robinson (Bloomington, Ill./Normal H.S.) added ten. Lindsey Moore (Wakarusa, Ind./Penn H.S.) led the Brown and Gold with 22 digs, while Sarah Schmalz (Corona, Calif./Riverside Christian H.S.) added six blocks. Cyndi Norman (Minooka, Ill./Minooka H.S.) had a match-high 45 assists.
Jessica Manning was the only Westerwind with double-figure kills, tallying 21 to go along with 24 digs. Christy Ottmers also had 24 digs, while Jamie Hastings added 21 more. Erin Singleton had five blocks, while Erin Walker dished out 40 assists.
Valpo outhit Western Illinois (1-17, 1-2 Mid-Con) .145-.083 for the match, but was outdug 94-89. The Crusaders held a 12-10 advantage blocking.
Valparaiso (10-7, 2-2) will return to action on Saturday evening when the Crusaders host Chicago State. First serve is slated for 7 p.m. at the ARC.