Valparaiso closed out the 2007 campaign Saturday evening at IPFW, falling to the Mastodons, 3-1 (30-19, 30-14, 25-30, 30-21).
The opening game was close in the early going, but with the score tied at ten, IPFW put together a 10-2 run to take an eight-point lead, and would not let the Crusaders get any closer than six points. In game two, the Mastodons jumped out to a quick 8-1 lead and cruised to the win, holding Valpo to a -.146 attack percentage in the game to take a 2-0 lead into the break.
The Crusaders bounced back in the third game, hitting .286 with 18 kills to close within one game of the Mastodons. Valpo was up just one at 11-10, but scored the next four points to take a five-point lead and would keep the lead around the same margin for the rest of the game. IPFW used a late 10-2 run in the finale to extend a two-point edge up to ten points and clinch the match.
Val Bollenbacher (Bremen, Ind./Bremen) led the Crusaders offensively with 16 kills, while Angie Porché (Lynwood, Ill./Thornton Fractional South) tallied another double-double with 12 kills and 11 digs. Porché closed out the season with 584 kills on 1,480 swings, both Valpo single-season records.
Defensively, Brittany Malicoat (Elkhart, Ind./Memorial) paced all players with 23 digs, finishing the season with a Crusader and Horizon League record of 740 digs. Setter Sara Hughes (San Antonio, Texas/Perrysburg [Ohio] H.S.) added 25 assists and 13 digs for her seventh double-double of the season.
Hughes, Tiffany Meikle (Cottage Grove, Wis./Monona Grove) and Nicole Schulz (Kewaskum, Wis./Kettle Moraine Lutheran) closed out their Crusader careers Saturday. Over their four seasons, the trio registered 100 victories and two NCAA Tournament appearances.