Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Back in Win Column After Five-Game Thriller Against Idaho

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Allison Sears (Elkhart, Ind./Memorial) was one of three Crusaders to set a career-high in kills and Valpo battled back after dropping game one to defeat Idaho 27-30, 30-28, 32-30, 22-30, 15-9 Saturday evening in Notre Dame, Ind. at the Shamrock Invitational.

With the win, Valpo secured third place at the four-team tournament that included a pair of top-25 ranked teams.

Sears, only a sophomore, had 22 kills against the Vandals and hit .255. She obliterated her previous career-high of 14, set earlier this season, and is the first Valpo player this season to notch over 20 kills in a single match. Sears also set a career and Valpo season high in blocks with nine, one solo, leading a Crusader defense that sent back a season-high 14 blocks.

But she was not the only player in brown and gold to come up big. Freshman Angie Porché (Lynwood, Ill./Thornton-Fractional South) also set a career-high with 19 kills, hitting a monster .395 by virtue of only four errors. Nicole Schulz (Kewaskum, Wis./Kettle Moraine Lutheran), who set career-highs with 16 kills in each of the last two matches, piled up a new personal best of 18 kills, hitting .317, and added six blocks.

By virtue of all the big offensive numbers, setter Sara Hughes (San Antonio, Texas/Perrysburg, Ohio, H.S.) also set a career-high with 69 assists, the fifth-highest total in a five-game match in school history.

And not all of the highlights came on offense either, as Tiffany Meikle (Cottage Grove, Wis./Monona Grove) set a career-high with 20 digs and Brittany Marks (Elkhart, Ind./Memorial) added 24 as the Crusaders totaled 79 digs. Alex Chism (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) and Heidi Hammond (Crown Point, Ind./Merrillville) also had double-digit dig nights.

Valpo's 14 blocks were three better than the Vandal total of 11, and the Crusaders' 76 kills were seven more than Idaho's total. The Vandals (0-6) were led by Haley Larsen who put down a match-high 23 kills.

The Crusaders (4-3) will be back in action Friday at the Cyclone Classic in Ames, Iowa. Valpo will face host Iowa State Friday at 6:30 p.m. before meeting South Dakota State Saturday at 11:00 a.m. The Iowa State match will be carried live on 95.1 FM, WVUR, and online at

box score
season stats
M Soccer Lake Forest Brown Field
Aug 23, 11:00 a.m. Valpo
M Soccer Lewis Brown Field
Aug 25, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
Football Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Aug 28, 6:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Volleyball Valpo Durham, N.C.
Aug 29, 3:00 p.m. Wofford
M Soccer Valpo Raleigh, N.C.
Aug 29, 6:00 p.m. North Carolina State
Volleyball Valpo Durham, N.C.
Aug 30, 2:00 p.m. Campbell
Volleyball Valpo Durham, N.C.
Aug 30, 6:00 p.m. North Carolina Central
M Soccer Valpo Davidson, N.C.
Aug 31, 3:00 p.m. Davidson
Volleyball IUPUI ARC
Sep 3, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
Volleyball Valpo Brookings, S.D.
Sep 5, 10:00 a.m. UMKC
Volleyball Valpo Brookings, S.D.
Sep 5, 5:00 p.m. Stephen F. Austin
W CC Crusader Open Sunset Hills Farm
Sep 5, 5:00 p.m.
M CC Crusader Open Sunset Hills Farm
Sep 5, 5:45 p.m.
Volleyball Valpo Brookings, S.D.
Sep 6, 2:00 p.m. South Dakota State
Football Saint Joseph's (Ind.) Brown Field
Sep 6, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
M Soccer Valpo Indianapolis, Ind.
Sep 9, 6:00 p.m. Butler