Led by sophomores Liz Mikos (Dundee, Ill./Jacobs H.S.) and Lauren Moulton (Elgin, Ill./Larkin H.S.), Valparaiso defeated DePaul for the first time since 1995 by the score of 27-30, 30-21, 39-37, 30-16 in Chicago, Ill.
Mikos hit .429 with ten kills and committed just one error, while adding nine blocks, including four solos. Moulton added 17 kills while hitting .469 and contributed three blocks for the Brown and Gold.
The opening game saw Valpo jump out to an early 8-5 lead after the Crusaders took advantage of several DePaul errors. The Blue Demons answered with an 11-3 run to build a 16-11 lead of their own. Valpo then reeled off six of the next seven points, keyed by kills from Marion Hansen (Huntley, Ill./Huntley H.S.) and Mikos to tie the game. DePaul took control again with kills from Janet Goreham and Janet Cotter running the lead back to six, 25-19. The Crusaders tried to rally one last time, as Moulton tallied four kills late, but the Brown and Gold could get no closer than two the rest of the way. Moulton hit .667 in the opening game with six kills for Valpo, while Mandy Moorberg led DePaul with four kills.
Game two began with a series of scoring runs. The hosts ran out to an early 3-0 lead behind three straight kills, followed by three straight points by the Crusaders. DePaul pushed the lead back to four, 10-6, before Valpo ran off four straight, keyed by a block by Cyndi Norman (Minooka, Ill./Minooka H.S.) and Hansen. After the two schools traded side-outs several times, Valpo took advantage of a pair of Blue Demon errors to build a 16-13 lead, and a block by Mikos and Norman helped inflate the lead to 20-15. After a pair of DePaul kills, the Crusaders ran off five straight points to build an eight-point advantage and held on for the victory. Valpo tallied six blocks in the second game after not recording a stuff in the opener. Michelle Robinson (Bloomington, Ill./Normal H.S.) tallied five kills in ten attempts in game two as Valpo hit .289. DePaul tallied 21 digs in the game, but hit just .050, hindered by 12 attack errors.
Game three was tight throughout. DePaul built an early 7-4 lead, and maintained a slight advantage throughout the first third of the game. Valpo tied the game at ten after a block by Robinson and Heather Hynds (Mundelein, Ill./Mundelein H.S.), one of seven blocks by the Crusaders in the game. The teams traded points until Valpo ran off a stretch of six out of seven points to take a 22-19 lead. DePaul rallied to tie the game at 23 following three straight blocking errors on the Brown and Gold. Hansen and Mikos recorded back-to-back kills to put Valpo in front but the Blue Demons again bounced back. With the game tied at 25, each team again traded side-outs. Valpo had eight game points before finally winning, capped off with a Mikos block. Valpo hit .367 in game three, led by seven kills by Moulton and six each by Robinson and Hansen. Robinson did not commit an error in the game and hit .462. Cotter and Goreham each had six kills for DePaul in the game. Valpo helped the Blue Demon cause in the game by tallying five service errors.
Valpo wasted little time getting things done in game four. The Brown and Gold used an early 8-0 run to build a quick 10-4 lead after the Blue Demons scored four of the first six points. The Crusaders used another four-point spurt to push the lead to nine 15-6 after a Hansen ace and after a Robinson kill, Valpo led 20-8 and would never look back, on its way to improving to 12-4 on the season.
Hansen and Norman tallied double-doubles for Valpo as Hansen tallied 12 kills and 12 digs while Norman dished out 43 assists and tallied 13 digs. Robinson tallied 15 kills and hit .293 for Valpo, which hit .335 for the match as a team.
Goreham led DePaul (6-8) with 14 kills, while Cotter added 13 kills. Amy Holmes tallied 18 digs, while Amie West dished out 41 assists.
Valpo outblocked DePaul 15-3 for the match and held the Blue Demons to just .138 hitting for the contest.
Valparaiso will return to action this weekend when they open Mid-Continent Conference play in Shreveport, La. against the newest member of the Mid-Con, Centenary. First serve is set for 7 p.m.