Valparaiso (13-6, 4-1 Horizon)
Wednesday, Oct. 5 - 7 p.m. - at Milwaukee (13-4, 6-0 Horizon)
Saturday, Oct. 8 - 5 p.m. - Cleveland State (10-5, 3-1 Horizon)
Sunday, Oct. 9 - 2 p.m. - Youngstown State (1-15, 0-4 Horizon)
This Week in Crusader Volleyball: A three-match week is highlighted by games with a pair of teams vying with Valparaiso near the top of the Horizon League table. The Crusaders travel to league-leading Milwaukee on Wednesday before hosting Cleveland State Saturday and Youngstown State Sunday at the ARC.
Wrapup of Last Week: Valparaiso improved to 4-1 in Horizon League play this year after a weekend sweep of a pair of league foes at the ARC. The Crusaders easily handled Wright State Friday, sweeping the Raiders 3-0, and then downed Butler on Homecoming Saturday in front of 1,028 fans, 3-1.
Top Performers: Wright State - Hauch 7 kills, 1.000; Hobbs 6 kills, .545, 4 blocks; Dent 6 kills, .500; Pokowny 31 assists; Cudney 3 aces; Root 11 digs; Dooms 10 digs; Team hit season-best .366
Butler - Beil 15 kills, .333, 3 aces; Britton 9 kills, .333; Pokorny 44 assists, 19 digs, 7 kills; Hauch/Root 21 digs apiece
Following the Crusaders: All three matches this week can be heard live on WVUR, 95.1 FM Valparaiso. Both of the Crusaders’ home matches can also be seen on the Horizon League Network as well. Audio and video links will be available at www.valpoathletics.com, as well as links for live stats for all three contests. There will be a live chat at www.valpoathletics.com for the Milwaukee match as well.
Head Coach Carin Avery: Carin Avery enters her tenth season at the helm of the Crusader volleyball program having experienced nothing but success at head coach. Avery is 234-87 (.729) in her nine-plus years at Valpo and owns a 289-111 (.723) record overall in 11-plus years as a head coach. She ranks among the top-20 winningest active coaches in Division I volleyball by winning percentage and is Valpo’s all-time leader in both wins and winning percentage.
Series Notes: Milwaukee - 13-15 overall (4-7 under Avery); last meeting 3-0 Valpo @ UWM 11/20/10 [HL Semifinal] (Diebler 15 kills, .483, 4 blocks; Dooms 14 kills, .400; Pokorny 38 assists; Cudney 4 aces; Root 22 digs)
Cleveland State - 15-9 overall (4-7 under Avery); last meeting 3-0 Valpo @ CSU 11/6/10 (Britton 13 kills, .364; Bollenbacher 9 kills, .400, 16 digs; Pokorny 40 assists; Root 18 digs; Diebler 9 blocks)
Youngstown State - 16-6 overall (6-2 under Avery); last meeting 3-1 Valpo @ YSU 11/5/10 (Britton 20 kills; Vanden Berg 7 kills, .300, 3 blocks; Pokorny 48 assists, 16 digs, 4 blocks; Root 21 digs; Bollenbacher 17 digs; Dooms 9 kills, 12 digs)
Looking Back at 2010: Valparaiso enjoyed another successful season in 2010, finishing the year 27-8 overall and 10-6 in Horizon League play. The Crusaders’ 27 victories matched the second-most in a single season in program history. Valpo advanced to the Horizon League championship match as well, its second appearance in the league title match in its four seasons as a Horizon League member and their sixth title match appearance overall in the last eight years.
Nine Straight 20-Win Seasons: The Crusaders’ 27 victories last year helped the program continue a tremendous streak of success. Valparaiso has won 20 or more matches every year since 2002, Avery’s first at the helm of the Crusader program. Valpo is one of just 12 programs nationwide to have won at least 20 matches in each of the last nine years.
Crusaders Picked Third in Preseason Poll: The head coaches selected Valparaiso to finish in a tie for third place in the Horizon League this season according to the preseason poll. The Crusaders, who received one first-place vote, were deadlocked with Butler, both just one point behind Cleveland State. Milwaukee was tabbed as the league’s preseason favorite.
Home Is Where the Wins Are: With four of their next six matches at home, all of which are Horizon League contests, the Crusaders will be looking towards their home court advantage to help pile up the wins. After last weekend’s sweep of Wright State and Butler, Valpo is already 6-1 this season at the Athletics-Recreation Center, keeping pace with its all-time winning percentage at the ARC under Carin Avery, which currently stands at .830 (88-18).
Balanced Offense: Valparaiso needed just 82 attacks, its fewest in a match since the move to 25-point scoring, to sweep Wright State on Friday night, hitting a season-best .366 in the three-set win. Perhaps most impressively, no Crusader had more than 12 swings on the night, while nine different attackers registered multiple kills, led by just seven from Lindsey Hauch.
Serving It Up: The Crusaders enjoyed a stellar weekend from the service line in their pair of Horizon League wins last weekend. In both the match against Wright State and the match against Butler, Valpo served up nine aces, totaling 18 on the weekend against just eight service errors. Seven different athletes combined for the 18 aces, led by five from sophomore Ariel Cudney. On the season, the Crusaders have posted 91 aces against 84 errors, putting the team on pace for more service aces than errors in a season for the first time in program history.
Players of the Week: Freshman Morgan Beil became the second Crusader to earn a weekly award from the Horizon League office this season on Sept. 19, picking up Offensive Player of the Week honors after averaging three kills per set on .403 hitting over the four matches the previous week. Beil’s week was highlighted by a team-best 12 kills in the sweep of UIC on .688 hitting, the best performance by a Horizon League hitter in league-only action so far this season. Previously, junior Taylor Root earned defensive weekly accolades the first week of the season, her sixth career honor from the league office.
All-Tournament Accolades: Beil also picked up her second straight All-Tournament Team honor at the DePaul Invitational, adding that to her accolade at the Golden Dome Invitational the previous weekend. Root and senior Amy Groesbeck represented Valparaiso on the All-Tournament Team at the Marriott Volley Brawl, while Root was joined by senior Jenny Pokorny on the All-Tournament Team at the WVU Mountaineer Invitational in the season’s first week.
Simply Perfect: Of special note Friday night was the performance of redshirt freshman right side Lindsey Hauch. Hauch totaled just seven swings against the Raiders, which ranked eighth among the Crusader attackers. But the freshman recorded kills on each of those seven swings, leading Valpo with her seven terminations. Hauch’s performance marked the most kills while hitting at a perfect 1.000 clip for Valpo in the rally scoring era. The freshman then excelled on the back line Saturday evening, easily surpassing her previous career high and tying for match-high honors with 21 digs.
Errorless Volleyball: While Hauch was the only Crusader to hit 1.000 Friday night, she was joined by three other attackers who did not commit an attack error in the sweep. Sophomore Janelle Hobbs needed just 11 swings to register six kills and hit at a .545 clip, while junior Mary Dent hit .500, posting six kills on 12 attempts. Senior Amy Groesbeck added three kills on four swings without an error as well.
Root Keeps On Digging: Junior Taylor Root ranks just behind the top spot on the Horizon League chart in digs with an average of 5.08 digs/set, good for 36th nationally. Last weekm Root led all players in the sweep of Wright State with 11 digs and then tied for match-high honors with 21 digs against Butler. Root, who has now reached double figures in the category in 18 of Valpo’s 19 matches this year, now has 1,670 total digs and is now just 217 digs shy of Sara Silcox for the second spot on the Crusaders’ all-time digs chart.
Beil Posts Career High: Freshman Morgan Beil became just the second Crusader this year to reach as many as 15 kills in a single match, registering the mark in the win over Butler to set a new career high. Beil, who also hit .333 against the Bulldogs and posted three aces, leads the team with a .310 hitting percentage this year and ranks third, averaging 2.47 kills/set.
Pokorny Approaches Triple Double: Senior Jenny Pokorny made a run at a triple-double Saturday in the win over Butler. The do-everything setter tallied 44 assists over the four sets and also registered a season-high 19 digs in the winning effort. Offensively, Pokorny attacked to the tune of seven kills, hitting at a .300 clip.