Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Hang Tough, Fall in Three in Opener
Angie Porché tallied a team-best 15 kills Friday. (Ray Acevedo)
Angie Porché tallied a team-best 15 kills Friday. (Ray Acevedo)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Valparaiso hung tough against Big 12 foe Colorado Friday afternoon in action at the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational in Gainesville, Fla., earning ties or leads late in all three frames, but the Buffaloes eventually earned the 3-0 (31-29, 25-23, 25-21) victory over the Crusaders.

“I think we did a good job today considering that we are not only replacing three starters from last year, but also lost Val Bollenbacher for the match with an injury very early on,” said Crusader head coach Carin Avery.  “We ran several different lineups today and tried different people playing different positions, and had some good success with some of our moves.”

The opening set saw Valpo fall behind by three points early at 9-6 before the Crusaders strung together a 6-0 run.  Jenny Pokorny (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) got the run started with a kill, and after a pair of CU attack errors, combined with Katie Layman (LaPorte, Ind./New Prairie) on a block.  Tara Diebler (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) followed with a service ace, and Layman capped the spurt with a kill.

The Crusaders extended the advantage to as many as four points, at 17-13, on a kill by Angie Porché (Lynwood, Ill./Thornton Fractional South), one of eight terminations for her in the opening frame.  The Buffaloes rallied, eventually tying the set at 19 points apiece and setting up an end sequence that saw neither team gain more than a one-point advantage until the final point.

Valpo had a pair of set points at 24-23 on a Porché kill and at 25-24 on a Colorado service error, but could not convert on either.  The Crusaders held off four CU set points before Kerra Schroeder came up with a service ace at 30-29 to give the Buffaloes the 1-0 advantage.

In the second set, Colorado got off to a quick start, using a pair of 4-0 spurts in the first half of the frame to go ahead by six points at 14-8.  But the Crusaders did not give in, staying within striking distance until getting to a four-point deficit at 21-17.  Valpo then took advantage of a pair of CU attack errors, along with a service ace by Taylor Root (Jenison, Mich./Jenison) and a kill by Amy Groesbeck (Wheaton, Ill./North) to pull into a 21-all draw.

Colorado responded with a kill, but terminations by Groesbeck and Katie Britton (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian) gave Valpo its first lead since early on in the set, just two points away from evening up the match.  Colorado’s Kaitlyn Burkett came up with a kill to knot up the score at 23, and after a Crusader error gave the Buffaloes set point, Burkett recorded a service ace to give CU the set.

Valpo rushed out of the gate with four straight points in the third set, on a pair of kills by Porché to go along with a Pokorny kill and a CU attack error.  The Buffaloes came right back with four points of their own, but a quartet of CU errors gave Valpo an 8-6 advantage.  Porché then tallied another kill, followed by a Groesbeck rally-ender, to push the lead back out to the original four-point edge.

The Crusaders maintained a two-to-four point lead for most of the set, as a Britton kill made it 17-15, but Colorado rolled off four straight points to take its first lead of the frame at 19-17.  Valpo responded immediately, as Groesbeck and Britton tallied kills, but that would be the last tie of the match, as Colorado scored six of the final eight points to earn the sweep.

Porché paced the Crusader offense with 15 kills while swinging at a .344 clip, surpassing the 1,600 kill milestone for her career with her first kill of the match.  She was the only Valpo player to reach double figures in kills, however, as Groesbeck was second on the squad with nine kills on .368 hitting in her first career start.  Kim Bukowski (Waukesha, Wis./West) handed out a team-high 22 assists, while Pokorny added 11 helpers of her own.

On the defensive side of the ball, Porché and freshman libero Root tied for team-high honors with 14 digs.  Porché reached 800 digs for her career with her 13th dig of the match, while Root earned the start at libero in her first career match.  At the net, Layman led the way with three rejections for Valpo.

Colorado (1-0) was paced by 17 kills by Becah Fogle and also received 12 terminations from Schroeder.  Ellen Henry picked up a match-best 15 digs on the back line, while five CU players combined for 11 service aces.

“In the end, our problem was we just didn’t execute as well as we need to to win,” said Avery.  “We had some opportunities when we got a big dig or took Colorado out of system, but just couldn’t capitalize with kills.  We also need to sharpen up our ball-handling on passing and defense to be successful.”

Valparaiso (0-1) concludes play in Gainesville on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. CDT with a match against UNLV.  The match will be carried live on WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso and online at www.valpoathletics.com, which will also have a link for live stats.

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
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
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 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. #21/21 Notre Dame
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
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
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
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
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Green Bay
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Valpo