Valparaiso started off its three-match road swing with a victory Friday night, downing Centenary 3-1 (30-25, 30-24, 29-31, 30-16) in Mid-Con action.
The Crusaders look poised to earn the sweep late in game three, serving for match point at 29-28. But a Centenary kill and two blocks by the Ladies sent the match into a fourth game. Valpo would come out and dominate the final game, hitting .474 with 22 kills for the victory.
Angie Porché (Lynwood, Ill./Thornton Fractional South) continued her outstanding freshman campaign for the Crusaders, picking up a match-high 20 kills and hitting at a .444 clip. Also making big contributions offensively were middle blockers Jessie Fox (Granger, Ind./Penn) and Allison Sears (Elkhart, Ind./Memorial), who put down 16 kills apiece. Kim Bukowski (Waukesha, Wis./West) got a chance to quarterback the Crusader offense, dishing out 54 assists in three games of action.
Brittany Marks (Elkhart, Ind./Memorial) led three Valpo players on the back line with ten or more digs, picking up 14. Alex Chism (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central [Miami]) notched 12 digs, while Tiffany Meikle (Cottage Grove, Wis./Monona Grove) chipped in 11 of her own.
The Brown and Gold held a significant edge in the final numbers, much more so than the game scores would indicate. Valpo picked up an astounding 42 more kills than the Ladies (79-37), hitting at a .305 clip for the match, while also holding a 70-46 edge in digs. Centenary (10-20, 1-7 Mid-Con) out-blocked the Crusaders, eight to five. Valpo helped the Ladies stay in the match with 18 service errors.
Valparaiso (16-9, 6-2 Mid-Con) swings to Tulsa, Okla. for the middle match of the road trip to take on Mid-Con rival Oral Roberts. The Golden Eagles currently sit atop the conference, and the Crusaders are looking to even up the season series after ORU defeated Valpo in five games at the ARC Sept. 29. First serve is set for 5:00 p.m.