October 12, 20161st2nd3rdFinal
.237Hitting Pct..188
118Total Attacks128
KillsMelissa Deatsch - 14
AssistsJordan Lentz - 37
AcesLauren Dolmage - 1
Sammy Condon - 1
Jordan Massab - 1
DigsMelissa Deatsch - 16
BlocksJordan Lentz - 3
Sammy Condon - 3

October 15, 20161st2nd3rd4thFinal
.098Hitting Pct..109
183Total Attacks174
KillsGRABOSKI - 13
DORE - 48
AssistsLONGORIA - 18
RUIZ - 21
BlocksBRUINSMA - 9
Crusaders Reach Halfway Point of League Campaign
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Crusaders Reach Halfway Point of League Campaign
Rachel Bruinsma and the Crusaders reach the halfway point of the league schedule this week.

Valparaiso (7-13, 1-5 Horizon)

Crusaders reach halfway point of league slate this week

Wednesday, Oct. 12 - at Oakland (13-7, 5-1 Horizon) - Rochester, Mich. - 5 p.m. CT

Saturday, Oct. 15 - Milwaukee (10-7, 4-2 Horizon) - ARC - 5 p.m.

This Week in Crusader Volleyball: The Valparaiso University volleyball team continues Horizon League play with a pair of matches this week, closing out a four-match road trip at Oakland on Wednesday evening before returning home to the ARC to host Milwaukee Saturday evening. Saturday's match against the Panthers will serve as the Crusaders' annual breast cancer awareness match, as survivors of breast cancer will be honored prior to the match.

Previously: Valpo earned a non-league victory early last week at Western Illinois, but the road proved unkind to the shorthanded Crusaders during league play last weekend, as they fell at Northern Kentucky, 3-0, and at Wright State, 3-2.

Looking Ahead: The Crusaders step away from league action next Tuesday night with a match at Chicago State, and then return to league play at the ARC next weekend with contests versus Wright State (Friday) and Northern Kentucky (Saturday).

Following the Crusaders: Both of this week's matches will be streamed live on ESPN3, and also are accessible via WatchESPN and the ESPN app. Links for the live video, as well as live stats, can be found at ValpoAthletics.com.

Head Coach Carin Avery: In her 15th season as head coach at Valparaiso, Carin Avery has won 347 matches (347-145) 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 402 career victories overall as a head coach, reaching the 400-win milestone earlier this season with the Crusaders' win over South Dakota State.

Series Notes: Oakland - Valpo owns a 20-7 advantage in the all-time series with the Golden Grizzlies, but OU holds a narrow 4-3 edge since joining the Horizon League prior to the 2013 season. Last season, the Crusaders earned wins in two of the three meetings - Oakland won 3-1 in Valpo, the Crusaders returned the favor at Oakland in straight sets, and in the rubber match, Valpo took down the Golden Grizzlies 3-1 in the semifinals of the Horizon League Championship.

Milwaukee - The Panthers lead the all-time series with Valpo 24-18, including a 17-8 edge since the Crusaders joined the Horizon League. Last season, however, Valpo went 2-1 versus Milwaukee - after each team won on its home court during the regular season, the Crusaders earned a hard-fought five-set win at the opening round of the Horizon League Championship.

Scouting the Opposition: Oakland - The Golden Grizzlies enter Wednesday night's match at 13-7 overall and tied atop the Horizon League standings at 5-1 in league action, most recently earning wins over UIC (3-2) and Green Bay (3-0) last weekend. Melissa Deatsch paces a balanced Oakland offense with 2.96 kills/set, while defensively, Krysteena Davis averages better than a block per set.

Milwaukee - The Panthers enter the week at 10-7 overall and 4-2 in Horizon League play, and will visit Oakland Friday evening before taking on the Crusaders on Saturday. Four Milwaukee players average at least 2.25 kills/set, led by 3.15 kills/set from Caitlin Schultz, while Myanne Ruiz tallies 4.23 digs/set in the back row at libero.

Milestone Watch For Longoria: Senior libero Morganne Longoria enters this week on the verge of hitting a big milestone in the back row. Longoria tallied 66 digs over three matches last week - highlighted by matching her career best with 30 at Western Illinois - to push her career total to 1,962 digs, just 38 shy of becoming the third player in Crusader volleyball history to reach 2,000 career digs. Longoria, who is averaging a career-best 4.91 digs/set this year, also ranks fifth nationally among active players in the category.

Campbell Looks For Another 1K: Having already reached the 1,000-kill mark last season as a junior, senior outside hitter Emily Campbell is poised to reach 1,000 in the digs category as well in the near future. Campbell enters the week with 980 career digs, 20 away from becoming just the eighth player all-time at Valpo to post at least 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs. Campbell started the match Saturday at Wright State - her first start since suffering an injury Sept. 9.

Dealing With Injuries: The Crusaders have been competitive in Horizon League play so far despite being ravaged by injuries. Campbell - out since Sept. 9 - has appeared in three of the last four matches, but has only started once. Junior outside hitter Allison Ketcham, who was playing at less than 100% earlier in the year, has not seen action since Sept. 17 and is not expected to play again this season. Sophomore middle Kayla Currier has not taken the court since Sept. 13, while senior outside hitter Jamie Lacheta and senior setter Tarrah Lasky have also both suffered recent injuries that have kept them out of action.

Carlson Posts Career High: Sophomore outside hitter Katherine Carlson has been counted upon to carry an offensive load with the Crusaders' injuries, and responded last week with 3.45 kills/set over Valpo's three matches - highlighted by a career-best 17 kills in the Crusaders' match at Wright State last time out. Carlson has reached double figures in kills 14 times this year, including six of Valpo's last seven matches, and has also posted at least 10 digs on eight occasions.

Avery Reaches 400: Posting at least 20 wins year after year, head coach Carin Avery reached the 400-win milestone for her career on Sept. 10 with the Crusaders' win over South Dakota State. The program's all-time winningest head coach, Avery is one of just 51 active Division I head coaches with 400 career wins, and is one of just two (Bobbi Petersen - UNI) who currently own at least 400 career wins and have been a head coach for 17 seasons or fewer.

League Success: The Crusaders are looking to maintain their tradition of being one of the top squads in the Horizon League in 2016. Valpo has finished among the top-four in the league every season since joining the league prior to the 2007 campaign, including four second-place finishes in the last eight seasons. In addition, the Crusaders are the only team to progress to at least the league tournament semifinals each season since they joined the league, including four appearances in the league title match. Valpo owns a .664 (93-47) winning percentage in Horizon League play since 2007.

All-Tournament Honors: Junior Taylor Graboski was named to the All-Tournament Team at Ball State as the Crusaders wrapped up their early-season tournament schedule, one of four Valpo players to earn All-Tournament honors this year. Senior Morganne Longoria earned All-Tournament accolades both at Valpo and at Troy, while sophomore Lizzie Zaleski joined Longoria on the All-Tournament Team at Troy. The opening weekend of play saw both Graboski and senior Emily Campbell represent the Crusaders on the All-Tournament Team at Army West Point's Black Knights Invitational.

Last Year’s Award Winners: Valpo had four players honored by the Horizon League for their play last season. Senior Emily Campbell (4.25 kills/set, 2.94 digs/set) and junior Allison Ketcham (3.53 digs/set, 2.72 kills/set) both earned All-League honors, Campbell doing so for the second straight year. Meanwhile, sophomores Katherine Carlson (2.36 kills/set, 2.57 digs/set) and Kayla Currier (1.86 kills/set, 0.90 blocks/set) both earned spots on the All-Freshman Team. Valpo has had multiple All-League honorees each of its nine years in the Horizon League and in every season dating back to the Mid-Con in 2001. The Crusaders have also had multiple All-Freshman team honorees in each of the last three years.

In Search of 20 More Wins: The Valpo volleyball program finds itself among a prestigious group of programs nationwide, as last year’s 27-win campaign was the 14th straight season the Crusaders captured at least 20 victories – all under head coach Carin Avery. Only nine Division I volleyball programs have won at least 20 matches in each of the last 14 years, a group which includes Colorado State, Florida, Hawai'i, Nebraska, Ohio, Penn State, Stanford and Western Kentucky.

Crusaders Picked Second in Preseason Poll: Valpo has been picked to finish in second place in the Horizon League during the 2016 season, according to preseason polling of the league’s head coaches. The Crusaders received four first-place votes, matching Cleveland State for the most first-place votes received. The Vikings edged out the Crusaders for the top spot in the poll, tallying 60 points to Valpo’s 57. Oakland picked up the final first-place vote and totaled 52 points.

Looking Back at 2015: Last year’s Crusader team matched the second-most wins in a single season in program history, posting a 27-8 overall record. Valpo finished in third place in Horizon League play, going 11-5 in league action, and advanced to the Horizon League Championship title match for the fourth time since joining the league prior to the 2007 season. Along the way, the Crusaders set a new program best to start the season, winning each of their first nine matches, while Emily Campbell and Allison Ketcham were named All-Horizon League honorees.

Plenty of Experience Returns: 12 of 14 letterwinners returned in 2016 from last year’s 27-win squad, including all but one starter. The only losses from last year’s team were starting setter Kelsey Berrington, who finished her career third in program history in assists, and defensive specialist Catherine Ament, who was forced to step away from playing due to being medically unable to compete. On the flip side, the Crusaders welcomed just one newcomer to this year’s team – defensive specialist Alana Brown, out of Vintage [Calif.] H.S.