Jessi Novak (Antigo, Wis./Antigo) paced a balanced Valpo attack as the Crusaders dismissed Chicago State 30-16, 30-19, 30-23 Friday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center, the 23rd straight Mid-Continent Conference win for Valpo.
Novak's line was a full one, recording a match-high 11 kills, hitting .476, and piling up seven digs, four service aces and three blocks. The senior was especially impressive in the first game, hitting a perfect 1.000 with seven kills on seven attacks. Jessie Fox (Granger, Ind./Penn) joined Novak with in double-digits with 10 kills, as nine different Crusaders had at least three kills in the match.
The Crusaders also got strong efforts out of some of their younger players, getting six kills from sophomore Tiffany Meikle (Cottage Grove, Wis./Monona Grove), three kills from freshman Jill Meyer (Crystal Lake, Ill./South) and three more from freshman Allison Sears (Elkhart, Ind./Memorial), who was seeing her first action of the season. Most impressive of the young guns, however, was freshman libero Brittany Marks (Elkhart, Ind./Memorial) who tallied a career-high 20 digs, doubling her previous best.
Defensively, Liz Mikos (Dundee, Ill./Jacobs) was again leading the pack, adding seven more blocks to her record-setting total, including three solos. The Brown and Gold had nine blocks in the match and held Chicago State to a .053 hitting percentage.
The Cougars (1-15, 0-3) were led offensively by Zuzana Pokovicova and Shakeila Castile-Jones who each had six kills.
Valpo (13-3, 3-0) gets back on the court Saturday night to face off with IUPUI, the last team to beat the Crusaders in conference play. First serve is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and you can catch all the action live on 95.1 FM, WVUR, or online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.