September 21, 20121st2nd3rd4thFinal
.120Hitting Pct..173
192Total Attacks191
DOOMS - 15
KillsSAFRANEK - 17
MCCOY - 17
AssistsIMRIE - 50
ROOT - 22
DigsSTRUS - 25
BEIL - 2
DENT - 2
BlocksDISMUKE - 6
Crusaders Drop HL Opener at UIC
Sarah Dooms posted a double-double with 15 kills and 15 digs Friday. (Ray Acevedo)

Crusaders Drop HL Opener at UIC
Friday, September 21, 2012

The Valparaiso volleyball team opened up Horizon League play on Friday evening in Chicago, Ill., falling to host UIC, 3-1 (25-20, 21-25, 26-24, 26-24).

Valpo led early in the opening set at 4-3 following a kill by junior Sarah Dooms (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove), but UIC scored five of the next six points to go ahead 8-5.  The Crusaders answered with three straight thanks to a kill by redshirt sophomore Lindsey Hauch (Coloma, Mich./Coloma) and two UIC errors, but the Flames went on a 7-1 run to take control. 

A three-point spurt late in the set which included a kill from senior Mary Dent (Chicago, Ill./Von Steuben) and a service ace by junior Ellen Vanden Berg (Little Chute, Wis./Little Chute) closed Valpo to within 20-16, but the Crusaders were unable to string together back-to-back points the rest of the set as UIC took the opener.

A back-and-forth early going in the second set turned into a Valpo advantage, as the Crusaders strung together three straight points on a kill and ace from Vanden Berg and a Dent termination to go ahead 9-7.  The teams then proceeded to trade 12 consecutive sideouts before Valpo scored four straight, including two more kills from Dent, to take an 18-13 advantage.

Three consecutive kills from Dooms, sophomore Morgan Beil (St. Louis, Mo./Marquette) and redshirt sophomore Kelsey Victor (Logansport, Ind./Logansport) pushed the lead out to 21-14 as the Crusaders looked to close out the second frame.  UIC would score seven of the next ten points to move within 24-21, but on its third set point opportunity, Dooms and Vanden Berg teamed up for a block to send the match into the in-game break knotted at one set apiece.

A 5-0 run by the Flames approaching the midway point of the third set put UIC ahead 13-8, a margin which it would maintain through 19-14.  The Crusaders took advantage of a pair of Flame errors and a block by Dent and Victor to cut into the UIC edge, closing to 19-17.  But the Flames looked to have control, keeping a multiple-point lead and earning set point at 24-20.

But Valpo rallied to force extra points, getting kills from junior Janelle Hobbs (Hartland, Wis./Arrowhead) and Vanden Berg sandwiching a Dooms service ace to induce a timeout from UIC at 24-23.  Following the stoppage, the Flames were called for a double hit as the Crusaders tied the frame at 24-all.  But UIC closed out the set with consecutive kills to take a 2-1 lead into the fourth set.

The Crusaders led throughout most of the first half of the fourth set, but the Flames scored four straight points to turn an 11-10 Valpo lead into a 14-11 deficit.  Valpo scored three of the next four, including a kill and an ace by Dooms, to close back to within one point, but couldn’t re-take the lead until a Dooms kill and a pair of Flame errors put the Crusaders on top 20-19.

Momentum was hard to come by as the set neared its zenith, as UIC tied the frame with a kill and then answered terminations by Vanden Berg and Dooms with kills of its own to make it 22-all.  The Flames committed an attack error to again give the Crusaders a one-point edge at 23-22, but UIC posted back-to-back kills to earn the first match point chance at 24-23.  Hauch came up with a big kill to tie the set at 24-all and force extra points for the second straight set, but the Crusaders couldn’t push the match to a decisive fifth set, as UIC got a kill from Molly McCoy, who then combined with Janise Dismuke on a block to close the contest.

Dooms was the only Crusader to finish in double figures in the kill column, posting a season-best 15 kills to go along with 15 digs, as Valpo was out-killed by UIC, 62-52.  Berrington handed out 24 assists to go with 17 from junior Ariel Cudney (LaPorte, Ind./LaPorte).  Dooms also registered three of Valpo’s six service aces, while senior Taylor Root (Jenison, Mich./Jenison) paced the Crusaders with 22 digs, leaving her just 21 digs shy of Valpo’s all-time record in the category.

McCoy and Safranek led UIC (7-8, 1-0 Horizon) with 17 kills each, while Sara Sternard added 11 kills.  MaryKate Imrie dished out 50 assists and tallied 12 digs.  Maggie Strus recorded a match-high 25 digs, while Dismuke led all players with six blocks.

Valparaiso (8-7, 0-1 Horizon) closes out the league’s Chicago swing on Saturday afternoon with a 4 p.m. match at Loyola.  Live stats and live video through the Horizon League Network will be available at