The Valparaiso University volleyball team took care of business Friday night at the ARC in Horizon League action, sweeping visiting UIC, 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-15).
How It Happened
- Valpo claimed the lead from the outset of set one against the Flames, scoring four of the first five points. While the Crusaders maintained the advantage and pushed it to as many as five points, UIC rallied and would eventually tie the set at 17-all. But out of a timeout, the Crusaders reeled off four straight points to take control and would eventually claim the opener.
- The Crusader offense carried them to a win in set two, as Valpo hit .353 and committed just two attack errors. Four straight points turned a 10-9 deficit into a 13-10 lead, and then with the advantage cut to one at 15-14, Valpo went on an 8-1 run to put the frame away.
- UIC jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead in set three as it looked to extend the match, and halfway through the set led 12-9. But the Crusaders turned the set on its head to complete the sweep, ending the match on a 16-3 run. The match-ending run included nine kills from four different players, led by four kills from senior Emily Campbell (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central).
Inside the Match
- Valpo enjoyed an efficient offensive performance all-around on Friday, hitting at a .272 clip while committing just 11 attack errors – only six of which were unforced errors.
- Campbell led the way for Valpo with 14 kills on .297 hitting, and narrowly missed a double-double as she finished the match with nine digs.
- Junior Taylor Graboski (Upper Sandusky, Ohio/Upper Sandusky) finished with 11 kills on .258 hitting, while sophomore Katherine Carlson (Lake Orion, Mich./Notre Dame Prep) added seven kills and senior Jamie Lacheta (Warsaw, Ind./Warsaw) chipped in six. Carlson also posted eight digs, five assists and three service aces.
- Senior Morganne Longoria (Burlington, Wis./Burlington) continued to play her dual libero/setter role, registering team highs with 21 assists and 17 digs.
- Senior Lexie Bouza (Elgin, Ill./Burlington Central) finished with 10 digs as well to back up Longoria as the Crusaders limited UIC to .125 hitting.
Thoughts From Head Coach Carin Avery
“Coming down the stretch of league play, everybody has a lot to play for – whether its teams battling for seeds or teams fighting to get into the tournament. So there’s a lot of pressure on everyone right now to perform, and I thought we came out and handled the pressure well tonight.”
“We’ve been working on some new things in practice this last week with the system we’re running, and I thought we did an excellent job implementing those ideas into tonight’s match.”
The Crusaders (14-16, 5-8 Horizon) continue the three-match homestand on Saturday afternoon as they host Green Bay at 4 p.m. The match can be seen live on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app, and heard live on WVUR (95.1 FM, Valparaiso), with links for the live video, audio and stats available via ValpoAthletics.com. It will also be Senior Night for Valpo, as the program honors its six seniors following the match.