kicked off the second half of Horizon League play Friday evening at the ARC the
same way it ended the first half of league competition, defeating Youngstown
State 3-1 (25-22, 28-26, 19-25, 25-19) for its seventh straight victory overall
and to keep pace atop the league standings at 8-1.
was a really important win for us tonight because we have a long stretch on the
road coming up,” said Crusader head coach Carin
Avery. “We needed to make sure to
get this win at home to continue our momentum into a big part of our schedule.”
Crusaders got a huge effort Friday night from senior outside hitter Angie Porché (Lynwood, Ill./Thornton
Fractional South), who was set 66 times on the night, tying for the third-most
attacks in a four-set match in Valpo history.
Porché came through with kills on 26 of her swings, just three kills off
of her career high, and hit at a .288 clip for the match.
to set Angie a lot of balls tonight because Youngstown State
was causing us to struggle elsewhere in our offense,” said Avery. “Considering the number of swings she took, I
thought she did a very good job stepping up and producing a lot of big kills for
Penguins got out to a quick start in the opening frame, forcing a Crusader
timeout halfway through at 13-7. Valpo
inched its way back into the set, but not until a three-point spurt at 20-18
would the Crusaders be able to take the lead.
A kill by Tara Diebler (Indianapolis,
Ind./Franklin Central) and a service ace by Haley Wise (Misahwaka, Ind./Mishawaka) brought Valpo into a tie at
20-all, and a block by Diebler and Kim
Bukowski (Waukesha, Wis./West) gave Valpo its first outright lead of the opener.
Youngstown State answered with a kill by Haley
Kapferer, but an attack error gave the lead right back to the Crusaders. Porché came up with a termination to make it
a two-point edge at 23-21 before YSU got another kill form Kapferer to close
back to within one point. But Katie Layman (LaPorte, Ind./New
Prairie) tallied a kill to give Valpo a pair of set point opportunities, and
then proceeded to combine on a rejection with Porché to close out the opener.
second set was tight throughout, as neither team would gain more than a
three-point edge at any point of the frame.
A pair of kills by Porché, combined with two YSU errors, comprised a 4-1
spurt that turned a 17-all tie into a 21-18 Crusader advantage, but the
Penguins answered right back with five of the next seven points to tie the set
would gain set point chances on each of the next three Penguin serves, as a YSU
error, a Diebler kill and a Mary Dent (Long
Grove, Ill./Von Steuben) put the Crusaders ahead by one at 24-23, 25-24 and
26-25, respectively. Youngstown State
was able to stave off each of those three opportunities, with a Kapferer solo
block tying the set at 26-26, but Porché stepped up when the Crusaders needed
her to, getting kills on each of the next two points to send Valpo into
intermission up two sets.
7-2 run provided Youngstown State all the breathing room it would need in the
third set, as the Penguins hit at a .342 clip for the set while holding Valpo
to an .059 hitting percentage. The
Crusaders did put together a 6-2 run to cut the YSU lead to 21-18, but would
get no closer as the Penguins sent the match into a fourth set.
Crusaders turned the tables on the Penguins in the eventual final set, jumping
out to an 8-3 lead and forcing YSU to use both its timeouts, thanks in large
part to three early kills from Porché.
Valpo would cruise from there, never letting its lead fall under three
points, and fittingly the final point of the match came on a Porché kill.
Valpo defense came up with 95 digs on the night, led by 25 from freshman libero
Taylor Root (Jenison,
Mich./Jenison). Four other Crusaders also reached double
figures on the night as well. Bukowski
set a new career high with 19, while Jenny
Pokorny (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) registered 16
digs. Wise totaled 15 digs over the four
sets, matching her season-high in the category, while Porché chipped in 11 digs
for her seventh double-double of the year.
served as a nice offensive complement to Porché Friday night, tallying 13 kills
while swinging at a .323 clip. Bukowski
handed out 49 assists on the night, moving into third place on Valpo’s all-time
chart in the category and registering her third double-double of the season. But the Crusader offense on the whole
struggled, as the Penguins outhit Valpo .186-.162 for the night.
our number of errors almost hurt us,” said Avery. “We’ve still got to figure out a way to
eliminate unforced errors on our side of the net. We knew coming in they were a good blocking
team, and we knew we had to figure out ways to get the ball over the block to
be successful. More often than not, we
were able to, which is why we out-produced them in kills. But Youngstown
was still able to block 17 attacks and we had 15 other attack errors as well, which
is why the sets were so tight.”
Youngstown State (6-13, 4-5) got 17 kills on .395
hitting from Kaitlin O’Hara to lead the way offensively. Ruth Boscaljon and Allison Heinz each posted
eight blocks, as the Penguins out-blocked the Crusaders 17-6 at the net.
Valparaiso (15-6, 8-1) begins a four-match road trip on
Tuesday as the Crusaders take on former Mid-Con foe IUPUI in Indianapolis.
First serve is slated for 6 p.m. CDT, and all the action can be heard
live on WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso.
Links for live audio, as well as live stats, will also be available through www.valpoathletics.com.