Each of the 13 available Crusader volleyball players saw
action Tuesday night at the ARC, as Valparaiso
swept Chicago State (25-12, 25-10, 25-19) in its final
home match of the regular season.
“It was a
bittersweet match for me, as more than likely it was the last time our three seniors
will be on our home floor in a game situation,” said Crusader head coach Carin Avery. “I know I’ve mentioned it before, but it just
can't be overemphasized how important they have been to our program. They were able to have some fun tonight
because I had the chance to play them in a few different positions.”
All three Crusader
seniors had solid performances Tuesday evening.
Setter Kim Bukowski (Waukesha, Wis./West),
fresh off being named Horizon League Offensive Player of the Week, played her
normal setter position the first two frames before moving to libero the third
set. Bukowski approached a triple-double
on the night, going for team-highs of 22 assists and 12 digs to go with seven
kills on .583 hitting.
Outside hitter Angie Porché (Lynwood, Ill./Thornton
Fractional South) hit .545 with seven kills while also chipping in five digs,
three service aces and two blocks. Porché
now sits just six kills shy of 2,000 for her career. Defensive specialist Haley Wise (Mishawaka, Ind./Mishawaka)
played her normal back row spot for the most part, taking over some of the
setting duties in the third set as well, and finished with seven digs and five
assists. Wise even stepped into the
front row near the end of the second set and registered a kill.
weren’t the only Crusaders putting together stellar outings on Tuesday. Sophomore outside hitter Katie Britton (Mishawaka,
Ind./Marian) went for a
match-high eight kills on .583 hitting and saw some action in the middle in the
final set. Sophomore right side Amy Groesbeck (Wheaton, Ill./North)
picked up five kills and five digs while also tallying two blocks and two aces
as well on the night.
“Kim really had a
good night in every aspect of the game,” said Avery. “Ending up just a few kills away from a
triple-double is always an impressive night for a setter. I thought Katie Britton did a good job
stepping into the middle spot, where she hasn't played all year long. It’s important to get her some experience in
there just as insurance if we would ever need a backup there.”
The first two sets
were both easy victories for the Crusaders, as Valpo gained the lead early and
pulled away in the middle portions of each set.
The third set saw the Cougars threaten the Crusaders and actually earn a
two-point lead at 18-16, quickly erased by a kill from Tara Diebler (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin
Central) and a CSU attack error. A Valpo
service error put the Cougars back on top 19-18, but the Crusaders ended the
match on a 7-0 run, including two kills apiece by Britton and Andrea Balsis (Benton Harbor, Mich./Coloma)
and an ace by Wise.
Chicago State (0-24) was paced by six kills on .417 hitting
by Niena Posey. Hanya Minta recorded a
double-double for the Cougars, handing out 14 assists to go with a match-best
Valparaiso (21-8) returns to Horizon League action this week in the final weekend
of regular season play, looking to earn at least a share of the regular season
championship. The Crusaders kick off the
weekend Friday at 7 p.m. against Milwaukee. All the action can be heard live on WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso. A link for the audio will also be available
online through www.valpoathletics.com,
which will also have a link for live stats.