Valparaiso’s first road match of the 2011 Horizon League season did not end on a positive note for the Crusaders, as homestanding Green Bay came out 3-0 (25-17, 25-21, 25-21) victors Friday evening in Green Bay, Wis.
After the two sides traded points early in the first set, Green Bay went on a 7-2 run to claim a 12-9 advantage. Valpo answered with four straight points, getting kills from senior Jenny Pokorny (Geneva, Ill./Geneva), junior Taylor Root (Jenison, Mich./Jenison) and sophomore Ellen Vanden Berg (Little Chute, Wis./Little Chute) during the spurt, to re-claim the lead at 13-12. The Crusaders still led by one at 15-14 after a kill by senior Katie Britton (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian), but Green Bay scored 11 of the set’s final 13 points to take the opener.
The Crusaders ran out to a 10-5 lead early in set two, thanks in large part to a trio of kills by sophomore Sarah Dooms (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove). The teams traded sideouts for 10 straight points, giving Valpo a 15-10 advantage past the halfway point of the frame. But again Green Bay posted a big run, scoring 12 of the next 13 points to go ahead by a 22-16 count. Valpo countered with three consecutive points, capped by a Britton kill, to move within 22-19, but the Crusaders got no closer than three points as the Phoenix took the second set as well.
It was Green Bay which looked in control at the halfway point of the third set, as four early blocks helped give the Phoenix a 14-8 lead. Valpo rallied with six straight points to tie the frame, however, including two kills from Dooms and one from Pokorny. After the teams traded sideouts for the next six points, Green Bay scored four of the next five to earn the 21-18 advantage. Back-to-back Phoenix errors brought the Crusaders back to within one at 21-20, but Green Bay scored four of the last five points, ending the match with back-to-back blocks to close its sweep.
No Crusader reached double figures in kills, as Dooms led the way with eight terminations. The Valpo offense hit at just a .065 clip for the match, thanks in large part to 15 Green Bay (4-9, 1-1 Horizon) blocks. Root led all players with 21 digs, while Dooms and redshirt freshman Lindsey Hauch (Coloma, Mich./Coloma) tallied 10 apiece. The Phoenix got a match-best 12 kills from Leah Van Zeeland, and Carmen Leitermann paced the Green Bay effort at the net with eight blocks.
“We definitely got outplayed today by a good Green Bay team,” said Crusader head coach Carin Avery. “Our youth really showed in the match in the number of errors we committed.”
Valparaiso (10-6, 1-1 Horizon) has a quick turnaround, traveling down to Chicago for a 4 p.m. matchup against Loyola tomorrow afternoon. Live video via the Horizon League Network and live stats will be available at www.valpoathletics.com, as well as a live chat during the match.
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