Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Take Final Two Matches at Western New York Invitational
Val Bollenbacher set a career-high with 26 kills Saturday against Binghamton.
Val Bollenbacher set a career-high with 26 kills Saturday against Binghamton.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Binghamton Box Score

St. Francis Box Score 

Valparaiso closed out play Saturday at the Western New York Invitational with two victories.  The Crusaders earned a tight five-game win (30-32, 30-27, 30-26, 22-30, 15-13) over Binghamton in the morning before cruising to a sweep (30-13, 30-14, 30-16) against St. Francis (N.Y.) in the afternoon.

The Brown and Gold matched a school record against the Terriers of St. Francis for service aces in a three-game match, tallying 16 aces.  Valpo had previously registered 16 aces in a sweep of Chicago State in 1991.  Freshman Andrea Balsis (Benton Harbor, Mich./Coloma), making her first career collegiate start, registered seven aces on her own, second-best in a three-game match in Crusader history and tied for third-best in any length match.

The match against Binghamton was highlighted by a career performance from sophomore Val Bollenbacher (Bremen, Ind./Bremen), who shattered her previous career highs with 26 kills and 49 attacks and also matched her career-best with 18 digs.  Jill Meyer (Crystal Lake, Ill./South) also broke her previous career high in the kills category with 14 kills.

"We were fortunate to come out of here today with a 2-0 record,” said Crusader head coach Carin Avery.  “Just like last weekend, this was another learning experience for us, and we saw things that we still have to work on to get better as a team.”

The Binghamton match was a tight one throughout, as the two teams ended the match separated by just one point.  The Crusaders dropped a tight game one, hitting just .075 in the opener, but rebounded to win the next two games.  The fourth game was a different story, as Valpo hit just .047 to Binghamton’s .361 hitting.  But in the deciding game, Valpo swung at a .231 clip and registered 11 kills out of its 15 points to win the match.

“It was nice to be pushed to five games this early in the season,” said Avery.  “As a coach, you always like to see how your team will respond to the situation, and I think we responded very well.  Val has had a great preseason for us, playing at a very high level, and it was fun to see her play at that level today against Binghamton.  Without her play, the match could have easily swung the other way.”

The match against St. Francis was the complete opposite, as the Crusaders cruised to victory in all three games.  Valpo swung at a .329 clip for the match and held the Terriers to a -.055 hitting percentage.  In addition to her seven aces, Balsis tallied 11 kills on .450 hitting and recorded five digs in the first significant playing time of her career.

Allison Sears (Elkhart, Ind./Memorial) stood out in both matches in the middle for Valpo, registering 19 kills and four blocks in the opener and following with 12 kills on .450 hitting and eight blocks, including two solos, against the Terriers.

“Allison is playing at a different level this year for us,” said Avery.  “She has done a good job cutting down her unforced errors, and subsequently is really putting pressure on our opponents with her attacking.”

Meyer hit .500 with eight kills in the nightcap and combined for 22 kills over the day’s two matches.  Sara Hughes (San Antonio, Texas/Perrysburg, Ohio H.S.) also excelled in both matches, dishing out 97 assists while also picking up 21 digs and four service aces.  Brittany Malicoat (Elkhart, Ind./Memorial) again paced the Crusaders defensively one day after recording her 1,000th career dig, tallying 31 digs against Binghamton (1-3), fifth-most in a five-game match all-time at Valpo, and following with 10 more against St. Francis (0-6), leading the Brown and Gold in both matches.  She has now led Valpo in digs in 47 consecutive contests.

Valparaiso (4-1) kicks off its 2007 home slate at the ARC this coming week as the team hosts the annual Popcorn Classic.  The Crusaders will take on Marshall on Thursday, Indiana on Friday and Western Michigan on Saturday, with all matches slated for a 7 p.m. start.  All matches will also be carried live on WVUR, 95.1 FM Valparaiso, and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.

M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25 Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo