Valparaiso fought off three match points late in game three, but it was not enough as Michigan defeated the Crusaders 30-24, 30-20, 35-33 before 1,029 fans at the Athletics-Recreation Center in the season opener for both teams on Wednesday evenings.
The Crusaders trailed 29-27 before fighting back and forcing several game points of their own in game three but the rally fell just short. Valpo opened game one keeping things close before a 6-1 run midway through the game broke things open for the Wolverines. Michigan ran away with game two behind .390 hitting for the game.
Lauren Moulton (Elgin, Ill./Larkin H.S.) recorded ten kills for the Crusaders to lead the way offensively, while Liz Mikos (Dundee, Ill./Jacobs H.S.) registered six blocks on the defensive end. Sara Silcox (Michigan City, Ind./Michigan City H.S.) led the Crusaders with a match-high 17 digs, marking the 18th straight match she has reached the double-figure mark. Katie Bova (Milwaukee, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S.) dished out 31 assists for the Brown and Gold.
Katie Bruzdzinski led the way for Michigan (1-0) with 14 kills while setter Lisa Gamalski added seven kills and 35 assists. Stesha Selsky led all Wolverines defensively with 14 digs.
For the match, Michigan hit .166 compared to Valpo's .078, but the Crusaders outblocked the Wolverines 11-8.
Valparaiso (0-1) will head to Muncie, Ind. this weekend for the Ball State Classic. The Crusaders will face Southeast Missouri State Friday at 4:30 p.m.