The Valparaiso Crusader volleyball team got a tough test from winless Drake but held on defeat the Bulldogs 30-23, 28-30, 30-26, 30-17 Saturday afternoon in the fourth match of the 2005 Popcorn Classic at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
Jessi Novak (Antigo, Wis./Antigo H.S.) and Lauren Moulton (Elgin, Ill./Larkin H.S.) led the Crusader (7-1) charge with 18 and 17 kills respectively. Moulton hit an impressive .325 for the match and Novak added a match-high 24 digs.
The Crusader defense came up big in the pivotal third game, recording nine blocks including five from Liz Mikos (Dundee, Ill./Jacobs H.S.) who had seven in the match. The Brown and Gold finished the match with 13 blocks.
Valpo won despite hitting just .175, including hitting .102 in the second game, won by the Bulldogs. Drake (0-8) hit .060 for the match but did record 10 blocks.
The Bulldogs were led by junior Megan Veltman who had 14 kills and five blocks. Five Drake players finished with double-digit digs led by Beth Kranske's 21.
In the first game of the morning session, Eastern Michigan (5-0) soundly defeated St. Louis, 30-20, 30-20, 30-26 to set up a tournament-deciding match tonight at 7:00 between Valpo and Eastern Michigan, both undefeated through the first four matches of the Popcorn Classic.
The evening session will begin at 4:30 p.m. with Drake taking on St. Louis before the Crusaders and Eagles close out the event.