The Valparaiso University volleyball team continued its dominance on the court in the early portion of the season Friday evening, defeating Cleveland State 30-18, 30-26, 30-22 in front of more than 600 fans at the Athletics-Recreation Center. With the victory in the first match of their Popcorn Classic, Valpo moves to 6-0 on the season, the best start in Mid-Continent Conference volleyball history.
The Crusader defense was again the key in the match for the Brown and Gold. Valpo held the Vikings to just .061 hitting for the contest and registered eight blocks in the match.
Michelle Robinson (Bloomington, Ill./Normal H.S.) led the Crusaders offensively with 12 kills while Cyndi Norman (Minooka, Ill./Minooka H.S.) dished out 32 assists. Valpo hit .327 in game two and committed just 16 hitting errors for the match on its way to a .240 percentage for the evening.
Marion Hansen (Huntley, Ill./Huntley H.S.), Katie Bova (Milwaukee, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S.), and Sara Silcox (Michigan City, Ind./Michigan City H.S.) all tallied ten digs for the Brown and Gold. Sarah Schmalz (Corona, Calif./Riverside Christian H.S.) registered six blocks.
Jamie Bouyer led Cleveland State (4-1) with 12 kills, while Kelly Crain dished out 23 assists and tallied 13 digs.
In the opening match of the classic, Indiana State (3-1) swept East Tennessee State (1-3) 30-21, 30-19, 32-30 behind 17 kills and 14 digs rom Kylee Osborne. The Sycamores hit .351 for the match. Kelsey Sherich led the Buccaneers with 12 kills.
Action resumes on Saturday as Indiana State plays Cleveland State at 10 a.m. and the Crusaders play East Tennessee at 12:30 p.m. East Tennessee State and Cleveland State will then battle at 5 p.m., with Valpo and Indiana State wrapping up the tournament at 7:30 p.m. at the ARC.