Valparaiso (2-1, 0-0 Horizon)
Wednesday, Sept. 3 – IUPUI (1-2) – 7 p.m.
at Jackrabbit Invitational – Brookings, S.D.
Friday, Sept. 5 – vs. UMKC (2-1) – 10 a.m.
vs. Stephen F. Austin (1-3) – 5 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 6 – at South Dakota State (3-1) – noon
This Week in Crusader Volleyball: Valparaiso continues early-season action this week with four matches. The Crusaders make their home debut on Wednesday evening as they host in-state rival IUPUI at the ARC before trekking up to Brookings, S.D. for the Jackrabbit Invitational, where they will face UMKC and Stephen F. Austin as well as host South Dakota State.
Previously: The Crusaders went 2-1 last weekend in the opening weekend of play in the 2014 season at the NCCU Invitational. Valpo earned four-set wins over Wofford and North Carolina Central, but fell in five sets to Campbell in its second match of the tournament. Emily Campbell and Kelsey Berrington represented the Crusaders on the All-Tournament Team.
Following the Crusaders: Live video, audio and stats for Wednesday’s match against IUPUI, as well as live stats for all three of this weekend’s matches, will be available through ValpoAthletics.com. The Horizon League Network will carry free live video of each of the Crusaders' league matches and all home non-league matches, while select matches will be covered by Valpo's student radio station, WVUR [95.1, Valparaiso], as well. In addition, most matches will have live stats available online.
Head Coach Carin Avery: In her 13th season as head coach at Valparaiso, Carin Avery has won 289 matches and has led Valpo to three league regular season and tournament titles, as well as three NCAA Tournament appearances. A two-time league Coach of the Year, Avery has coached 40 All-League recipients over her tenure as Crusader head coach. She is Valpo’s all-time leader in both victories and winning percentage, and owns 344 career victories overall as a head coach.
Series Notes: IUPUI – Valpo owns a 21-13 edge in the all-time series against the Jaguars, including a five-set victory in Indianapolis last season on Oct. 15. The Crusaders own seven straight home wins over IUPUI dating back to 2004.
UMKC – A former conference opponent, the Crusaders are 21-8 all-time versus the ‘Roos. The two squads have not met since Valpo left the Mid-Con after the 2006 campaign, and the Crusaders currently hold a 10-match winning streak in the series.
Stephen F. Austin – First meeting
South Dakota State – The Crusaders are just 1-2 all-time versus the Jackrabbits, but the victory came in the last meeting on Aug. 25, 2012 – a five-set win at the Hawkeye Challenge in Iowa City.
Scouting the Opposition: IUPUI – The Jaguars opened the season 1-2, sweeping Toledo and falling to BYU and West Virginia at the Gold and Blue Player’s Challenge. IUPUI went 19-14 last season and represented the Summit League in the NCAA Tournament.
UMKC – The ‘Roos went 2-1 on the opening weekend, falling in a five-set match to Drake before beating Central Michigan and host Omaha. UMKC posted a 15-14 record last year.
Stephen F. Austin – The Ladyjacks enter this weekend’s tournament at 1-3, defeating Tennessee State at the Arkansas Invitational and falling to Michigan, Arkansas and North Texas. SFA went 16-16 last season.
South Dakota State – The Jackrabbits enter their home event at 3-1, falling in straight sets to UMBC before rebounding with sweeps of Weber State, UMES and Fairleigh Dickinson last weekend.
Crusaders Picked Second in Preseason Poll: The Crusaders been picked to finish in second place in the Horizon League standings this season, according to preseason polling of the league’s head coaches. Valpo claimed one first-place vote and 39 points, trailing only Milwaukee, which tallied 47 points, including six first-place nods. The Crusaders edged out Oakland by two points for second position.
Looking Back at 2013: It was another successful season for the Crusader volleyball program last year. The program matched the best-ever start in team history, winning each of its first eight matches, including tournament wins at the UCF Invitational and the Popcorn Classic, capping the latter tournament with a win over Big Ten foe Iowa. Valpo would end the season with 25 wins, finishing in second place in the Horizon League standings and earning a berth in the league title match. Along the way, three Crusaders earned All-League honors and two others were named to the Horizon League All-Freshman Team.
12 Straight 20-Win Seasons: The Crusaders’ 25 victories last season 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 10 programs nationwide to have won at least 20 matches in each of the last 12 years, a group which also includes Colorado State, Florida, Hawai’i, Nebraska, Ohio, Penn State, Stanford, UNI and Western Kentucky.
Lifting Tournament Trophies: The Crusaders are attempting to continue a tradition of winning titles this season, as Valpo claimed a pair of tournament championships last season in 2013, lifting the program's total under Avery to 17 in-season tournament titles. The Crusaders have brought home at least one in-season tournament crown in nine of the last 12 years.
Campbell Stepping Up: Sophomore Emily Campbell notched the second All-Tournament honor of her career in the opening weekend at the NCCU Invitational. Campbell registered a team-high 13 kills on .262 hitting in the win over Wofford, and followed up by matching her career high in the category against Campbell, tallying a match-best 20 kills on .269 hitting. For the weekend, Campbell averaged 3.67 kills/set and also added 1.44 digs/set.
Berrington Sets the Pace: Junior Kelsey Berrington joined Campbell on the All-Tournament Team last weekend, earning the second All-Tournament accolade of her career as well. Berrington spent most of the weekend setting all the way around the rotation for the first time at Valpo, averaging 7.92 assists/set. The junior posted a new career best with 46 assists in the match against Campbell, and registered a pair of double-doubles as well [Campbell – 46 assists/14 digs; Wofford – 35 assists/11 digs].
Preseason All-League Honoree: Senior Morgan Beil was honored as one of seven members of the Horizon League’s preseason All-League team, and if that’s a harbinger of things to come, Beil will join a select group. The St. Louis native has earned postseason All-League accolades in each of her first three seasons, and if she were to do the same again this year, would join former Crusader Taylor Root as the only Horizon League players to be four-time All-League honorees since the league moved to a single, 12-player team in 2004. Beil ranked fourth in the league and led the Crusaders in hitting percentage last season, posting the fourth-best single-season mark in program history. She is on pace to challenge for the Crusaders' career hitting percentage record and end up among the program's all-time top-10 in kills.
Returning Honorees: Beil is one of three Crusaders returning in 2014 who earned postseason accolades from the Horizon League last season. Emily Campbell and Morganne Longoria are both back for their sophomore campaigns after being named to the league's All-Freshman Team in 2013. Campbell averaged 2.10 kills and 2.26 digs per set as a rookie, ranking third on the team in the latter category. Meanwhile, Longoria stepped straight into the starting libero role, a position which boasts a tradition of excellence in the Crusader volleyball program, and fit in perfectly. Longoria paced the league with 569 total digs, the second-most digs by a freshman ever at Valpo and ninth-most in a single season overall in program history.