Valparaiso pulled off one of its biggest upsets in school history on Tuesday evening, defeating Notre Dame 26-30, 30-24, 30-26, 24-30, 15-12 at the Joyce Center.
The Crusaders rallied from a game down to post their first victory over the Fighting Irish since November 15, 1980. Valpo had dropped 17 straight against Notre Dame.
The Crusaders survived Notre Dame hitting .327 in game one and held the Irish in bay the rest of the night. A balanced offensive attack saw five players record double-figure kills for the Brown and Gold, while five also registered double-figure dig numbers.
Jessi Novak (Antigo, Wis./Antigo H.S.) slammed down 15 kills and picked up 25 digs on the evening, both career highs. Amy Palash (Winfield, Ill./Saint Francis H.S.) recorded a double-double as well, posting a team-leading 16 kills and adding 17 digs.
Lauren Moulton (Elgin, Ill./Larkin H.S.) added 15 kills, while Jessie Fox (Granger, Ind./Penn H.S.) hit a team-leading .312 with 14 kills. Liz Mikos (Dundee, Ill./Jacobs H.S.) added 14 more kills and chipped in six blocks for the Crusaders to lead the way defensively with Sara Silcox (Michigan City, Ind./Michigan City H.S.) who had a match-high 29 digs. Lindsey Moore (Wakarusa, Ind./Penn H.S.) was the four Crusader in double-figures with 12 digs, while Katie Bova (Milwaukee, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S.) dished out a career-best 61 assists to go along with 15 digs.
Valpo hit .225 for the match and tallied 102 digs, while holding Notre Dame (1-3) to just .195 hitting on the night and 91 digs.
Lauren Kelbly led the Fighting Irish with 22 kills, hit .365, and tallied seven blocks while Lauren Brewster added 18 kills and rejected eight shots.
Valparaiso (4-1) will return to action on Friday evening as the Crusaders head to Lexington, Ky. for the Kentucky Conference Challenge. The Brown and Gold will take on host Kentucky at 6 p.m. CDT on day one.