Valparaiso closed out the Blue Demon Invitational with a 3-1 (30-24, 28-30, 30-26, 30-18) victory over host DePaul Saturday night. The Crusaders placed three players on the All-Tournament Team on their way to capturing the tournament title.
Katie Bova (Milwaukee, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S.) was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, hitting .371 while recording 10.86 assists per game over the two days. Against the Blue Demons, Bova led Valpo with 47 assists and shared a team-high 14 digs with Jessi Novak (Antigo, Wis./Antigo H.S.)
Heidi Hammond (Crown Point, Ind./Merrillville H.S.) was honored as the Most Valuable Libero of the tournament after registering double-digit dig totals in each of the four matches, including 10 in the victory over DePaul. Liz Mikos (Dundee, Ill./Jacobs H.S.) was also named to the All-Tournament Team, racking up 47 kills to go along with 26 blocks over the four matches. Mikos recorded seven blocks against the Blue Demons, leading the Crusaders' defense as they tallied 14 total blocks for the match.
Amy Palash (Winfield, Ill./Saint Francis H.S.) led the Brown and Gold offensively in the win over DePaul, hitting .375 with 17 kills for the match while also contributing 11 digs. Novak contributed 13 kills in the winning effort.
Ellen Hayes paced DePaul (1-4) with 16 kills and 13 digs. Mandy Moorberg also registered 16 kills, while Aly Zavitz chipped in 15 kills for the hosts.
Valpo outhit the Blue Demons .276-.154, and also outdug the hosts 56-43. The Crusaders recorded seven service aces to go along with their 14 blocks.
Valparaiso (5-1) opens the home portion of the 2005 schedule this coming Friday as the Crusaders host the Popcorn Classic. The first match, featuring Drake and Eastern Michigan, is slated to begin at 4:30 p.m., while the Crusaders take the court to face the Billikens of Saint Louis at 7 p.m.