Courtesy of Saint Louis athletics.
St. Louis - Jessi Novak's 13 kills paced Valparaiso as the Crusaders defeated the host Saint Louis Billikens 3-0 at the Billiken Invitational. Valpo won the match 30-23, 30-20, 32-30.
Game one was tied at 13-13 before the Crusaders edged ahead by two. A Valparaiso hitting error pulled the Billikens to just one at 17-16, but the Crusaders answered with four straight points. A VU error ended the run, but the Crusaders scored three more and took a 23-18 advantage. An Aida Antanaviciute kill halted the VU streak, but Valparaiso's Jessie Fox had three straight kills and the Billikens could not get any closer.
Valparaiso used an early 6-0 to take control of game two. The Crusaders had two straight hitting errors as the Billikens inched back. A kill by Sutton Lasater brought the Billikens to 11-7, but Valpo tallied the next four points to push back out to a comfortable margin. Down, 24-16, consecutive kills by Lasater and Lauren Boissevain gave the Billikens hope, but the Crusaders did not let SLU get any closer and held on for the win.
Game three was close the entire way and needed extra points to decide the outcome. Valparaio held the biggest lead of the game at 10-7, but Poorbaugh had a kill, and Chrissy King dove to dig a ball that eventually landed in for a point. Antanaviciute's kill tied the game at 11-11. The Crusaders would not give up the lead and reclaimed a 22-20 lead. Boissevain had two kills, and another Antanaviciute kill tied the affair at 24-24. Valpo took another lead at 29-27 for match point, but the Bills tallied two in a row. A Valpo had two swings to end the match but was forced into an error as the Billikens forged a 29-29 tie. Liz Mikos put VU up by one, but Boissevain equalized for SLU. However, Amy Palash had two kills in a row as the Crusaders claimed a 32-30 win.
Antanaviciute paced the Billiken effort with 14 kills, while Lauren Boissevain added 11. Chrissy King and Erin McClanahan had 10 digs each, while McClanahan had 39 assists. The Billikens fall to 4-6, and Valparaiso improves to 7-3.
Day two of the Billiken invitational sees three matches. The Billikens play Valparaiso at 10 a.m., and North Texas and Valpo square off at 2 p.m. The Billikens close out the invitational with a 7 p.m. match against North Texas.