Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Dominate in Sweep of Oakland
Sarah Dooms led all players with 13 kills Tuesday and also tallied 11 digs. (Ray Acevedo)
Sarah Dooms led all players with 13 kills Tuesday and also tallied 11 digs. (Ray Acevedo)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Valparaiso never trailed later than halfway in any of the three sets en route to a 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-15) sweep of Oakland in Rochester, Mich. Tuesday evening.

“I thought it was a very good defensive night for us,” said Crusader head coach Carin Avery.  “We had a couple rotations where we were playing very well defensively in the back row, and we were then able to convert on those opportunities.  Those rotations led to some really big runs in every set that helped us get the victory.  Even though the defensive numbers were close, I feel we frustrated Oakland more with our play in the back and we ended up hitting over 100 points higher than they did.

Valpo's pair of freshman outside hitters, Sarah Dooms (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove) and Kelsey Victor (Logansport, Ind./Logansport), led the Crusader offensive effort on Tuesday.  Dooms tallied a match-high 13 kills while swinging at a .323 clip.  Meanwhile Victor, making her first career start, took full advantage, hitting .429 while putting down 11 kills, easily a career high, on just 21 swings.

“Two people that were instrumental in our win tonight were Sarah and Kelsey as our outside hitters,” said Avery.  “They get a lot of the defensive transition balls sent their way, and obviously by looking at the numbers tonight, they were able to convert those into kills for us.”

Defensively, the Crusaders got yet another standout performance from sophomore libero Taylor Root (Jenison, Mich./Jenison).  Root registered 22 digs on Tuesday, tying for match-high honors and her 16th match with at least 20 digs this season.  The sophomore, who started the week ranked third in the nation in digs/set, now has 509 digs on the year, already eighth-most in a single season in program history.

The opening set stayed closest the longest on Tuesday, as neither side gained more than a two-point advantage until the late stages of the frame.  A kill by senior Katie Layman (LaPorte, Ind./New Prairie) and a block by Layman and Dooms turned a 15-15 tie into a 17-15 Valpo advantage, forcing Oakland to use its first timeout.  Out of the stoppage, the Golden Grizzlies recorded a kill, but the Crusaders responded with kills from Dooms, Layman and Jenny Pokorny (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) in a four-point spurt to push the advantage to 21-16.  A Crusader attack error briefly slowed the momentum, but Valpo would score the final four points of the set, including two kills by Victor and one from Tara Diebler (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central), to close a 10-2 run and claim the opener.

The second set was a frame of runs, as an early 5-2 Valpo lead turned into an 8-5 deficit.  But the Crusaders responded with five straight points of their own on two kills each by Dooms and Layman and one from Amy Groesbeck (Wheaton, Ill./North) to reclaim the lead at 10-8.  Later in the set, leading just 14-13, Valpo posted a 5-0 spurt, including a solo block and a kill by Dooms and another kill by Diebler, to push the advantage to 19-13.  Oakland answered with a 6-1 run to again close to within one point, and after a pair of late kills by Dooms made it 24-20, the Golden Grizzlies registered three straight kills to stay alive.  But Layman tallied a kill on Valpo's fourth set point chance to send the Crusaders into the in-game break up two sets.

The third set was the least suspenseful of the three, as Pokorny tallied a pair of service aces, Diebler and Groesbeck combined on a block, and Victor and Dooms each picked up kills in a set-opening 7-1 run.  Oakland would close back to within 12-9, but another 7-1 run, featuring three kills each by Diebler and Victor, put the set out of reach at 19-10.  The Crusaders cruised home from there, eventually ending the sweep thanks to back-to-back Oakland attack errors.

The Crusaders' offense was highly efficient Tuesday, posting 49 kills on .269 hitting, the first Oakland opponent in the last 11 matches to hit above the .200 mark.  Diebler hit .500 with eight kills in support of the duo of freshman outsides.  Pokorny handed out 37 assists while also tallying five kills and nine digs.

Defensively, Valpo limited Oakland (11-12) to just 33 kills and .134 hitting and outdug the Golden Grizzlies, 69-62.  Fifth-year senior Val Bollenbacher (Bremen, Ind./Bremen) assisted the Crusader effort on the back line with 12 digs and Dooms added 11 digs for a double-double.  Brittany Dunn led the Golden Grizzlies with 22 digs, while Meghan Bray (11 kills, 12 digs) and Ashley Nevelle (25 assists, 10 digs) posted double-doubles in the losing effort.

Valparaiso (18-5) returns back to Horizon League action at the ARC Saturday evening when the Crusaders host UIC.  First serve against the Flames is set for 6 p.m., and as always, live audio and video are available at www.valpoathletics.com, with the audio also available locally on WVUR, 95.1 FM.  Live stats will also be available through the official Crusader website.

W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. #21/21 Notre Dame
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay