Valparaiso came within one game of winning its third straight tournament on Saturday evening, before the Crusaders dropped an exciting 30-27, 25-30, 28-30, 30-18, 19-17 decision at Northern Illinois in the championship match of the NIU Comfort Inn & Suites Invitational.
Liz Mikos (Dundee, Ill./Jacobs H.S.) led the Crusaders with 13 kills and 15 blocks on the evening. The 15 blocks establish a new school record for Valpo.
Michelle Robinson (Bloomington, Ill./Bloomington H.S.) tallied 20 kills while hitting .259 for the Brown and Gold, while Marion Hansen (Huntley, Ill./Huntley H.S.) posted 17 kills and 14 digs.
Cyndi Norman (Minooka, Ill./Minooka H.S.) recorded 62 assists to go along with ten blocks, and just missed out on a triple-double with nine digs. Sara Silcox (Michigan City, Ind./Michigan City H.S.) tallied a match-high 26 digs, while Katie Bova (Milwaukee, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S.) added 17 digs.
Tera Lobdell led Northern Illinois (7-1) with 32 kills and 21 digs, while Corinne Walsh added 21 kills and 12 digs, while hitting .500.
For the match, Valpo tallied 71 kills and hit .234, compared with the Huskies 98 kills and .255 hitting percentage. Valpo recorded a school record 18 blocks in the match.
Valparaiso (10-2) will return to action on Wednesday evening when the Crusaders travel to Bowling Green for a 6 p.m. CDT match with the Falcons.