took the first set Saturday evening from Cleveland State Saturday evening at
the Athletics-Recreation Center, but the Vikings came back to earn a 3-1 (21-25,
26-24, 25-22, 25-18) victory over the Crusaders in Horizon League play.
opening set was about as close as a set can be contested, as neither team would
gain more than a two-point edge until the closing points. With both sides siding out at very high
rates, the set contained 15 tie scores.
Finally, with the score 20-all, Jenny
Pokorny (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) picked up a kill and then set up Amy Groesbeck (Wheaton, Ill./North) for
a kill to make it 22-20, forcing a CSU timeout.
Out of the stoppage, Groesbeck combined with Tara Diebler (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) on a big block
to go ahead by three, followed by a solo block by Katie Britton (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian) to cap the four-point spurt
and bring up set point. On the second
chance, the Vikings served long, giving Valpo the 1-0 advantage.
second set saw the Crusaders jump out to a quick 8-4 lead, with their first
three points all coming on Sarah Dooms (Greenwood,
Ind./Center Grove) kills. But CSU fought
back, tying the score up at 11 to force Valpo’s first timeout and coming out of
the stoppage with an additional 4-1 spurt, resulting in the Crusaders’ second
timeout trailing 15-12. A Viking service
error stopped runs of 6-0 and 13-4, but after siding out, the Crusaders earned
the next three points, including a kill by Britton and a block from Britton and
Diebler to force a CSU timeout at 18-16.
the timeout, CSU scored two straight, but a service error and then an ace by
Pokorny gave the two points right back to the Crusaders. The teams then traded sideouts all the way
until Cleveland State earned set point at 24-21. Katie
Layman (LaPorte, Ind./New Prairie) staved off both the first and second
Viking chances with kills, getting Valpo to within 24-23, and then combined
with Pokorny on a block to tie the frame at 24-all. But CSU’s Megan Barhorst took care of an
overpass to earn another set point chance, and Lindsey Griffith tallied a kill
for the Vikings to send the match into the in-game break at one set apiece.
State looked to have control of the third set, leading halfway through at 13-8,
but the Crusaders were determined to battle back, putting together a 6-2 spurt,
including a pair of kills by Layman to close within 15-14. Valpo would actually tie the set at 17 on a
Groesbeck kill and at 18 on a Diebler kill, but could never regain the
advantage outright. Two straight CSU points
gave it a 20-18 lead and the two teams just sided out from there, as Valpo was
never able to tie it up again, falling behind two sets to one.
start of the fourth set looked like a dream beginning for the Crusaders, as
kills from four different players and a service ace by Ariel Cudney (LaPorte, Ind./LaPorte) were part of a 7-2
beginning. But the dream turned into a
nightmare just as quick, as CSU backup setter Annie Djukic converted on a
setter dump attempt to get out of Cudney’s service run, and then stepped back
to the service line herself as the Vikings reeled off a 10-0 run to take a 12-7
lead. Two straight Valpo points on kills
by Britton and Dooms got it back within 12-9, but CSU scored the next four to
take control and eventually go on to the victory.
paced the Valpo offensive effort Saturday, racking up 14 kills on a stellar .545
hitting percentage. Dooms tallied 11
kills, while Layman totaled 10 kills.
Pokorny handed out 48 assists as well.
Taylor Root (Jenison,
Mich./Jenison) led all players with 23 digs, while Dooms racked up 17 for a
double-double and Val Bollenbacher (Bremen,
Ind./Bremen) added 10 digs. Diebler led
the way for the Crusaders at the net as well, joining in on five of Valpo’s 10
Koch led Cleveland State (15-1, 6-1 Horizon) with 19 kills, while Amy Benz hit
.481 with 14 kills out of the middle for the Vikings. Amy Grabiec led CSU with 21 digs and the
Vikings totaled 15 blocks on the evening, eight coming from Benz and seven by Barhorst.
Valparaiso (15-4, 4-3
Horizon) looks to close out the first half of Horizon League play on a winning
note on Sunday afternoon, as the Crusaders host Youngstown State in matinee
action at the ARC. First serve is set
for 3 p.m., with both audio and video webcasts available online at www.valpoathletics.com. The audio will also be available locally on
WVUR, 95.1 FM while live stats will also be available through the official