Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Split Two Matches at Pitt Saturday
Angie Porché posted 27 kills on .404 hitting over Saturday's pair of matches. (Ray Acevedo)
Angie Porché posted 27 kills on .404 hitting over Saturday's pair of matches. (Ray Acevedo)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Valparaiso played a pair of matches Saturday at the Pitt Blue and Gold Tournament on Saturday, sweeping Maryland-Eastern Shore (25-12, 25-20, 25-20) before falling to the host Panthers, 3-1 (19-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-23).

The Crusaders never trailed in any of the three sets against Maryland-Eastern Shore.  The opening set easily went the Crusaders’ way, as Valpo put together an early 8-2 run, including three kills by Tara Diebler (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) to pull ahead by six points, a deficit which the Hawks would never be able to cut under five points as Valpo cruised to the win in the opener.

Valpo led start to finish as well in set two, but would not capture the second frame quite as easily, as a late 4-1 spurt brought UMES back to within 22-20.  But a kill by Amy Groesbeck (Wheaton, Ill./North) was followed by a block by Katie Britton (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian) and Katie Layman (LaPorte, Ind./New Prairie) to give the Crusaders four set points, and they would need only one, as Angie Porché (Lynwood, Ill./Thornton Fractional South) aced the Hawks to put Valpo ahead two sets.

The eventual final set also stayed close throughout, as the Hawks earned a tie as late as 14-14 and were still within two points at 20-18.  A Layman kill gave Valpo a three-point advantage, however, and following a UMES error, Britton came up with a termination of her own to push the advantage to five points.  The Hawks would side out on each of Valpo’s next two serves, but it was all for naught, as the Crusaders responded in kind on kills by Groesbeck and Britton to wrap up the sweep.

Valparaiso only held a 39-33 advantage in the kills department over Maryland-Eastern Shore (8-4), but also committed just 11 attack errors to the Hawks’ 18.  Porché paced Valpo with ten kills on .364 hitting, while each of the Crusaders’ other four primary attackers all tallied at least five kills.  Kim Bukowski (Waukesha, Wis./West) handed out 28 assists running the Crusader offense.

Taylor Root (Jenison, Mich./Jenison) led all players with her 14 digs on the back line, while Andrea Balsis (Benton Harbor, Mich./Coloma) also reached double digits in the category with ten digs of her own.  Groesbeck and Layman each tied for match-high honors with four blocks at the net.

Valparaiso continued its standout play in the opening set against the host Panthers, turning a 16-15 deficit into a win in the opening frame thanks to a set-ending 10-3 run which included a single kill from each of Valpo’s five primary hitters, as well as Bukowski.  But Pittsburgh would rebound in the second set, not letting the Crusader lead after 7-6.  Valpo cut the Panther advantage to 21-19 late, but Pitt scored the final four points of the set to tie the match up at one set apiece.

The Crusaders looked like they had the momentum late in the third frame, putting together a 4-1 run with kills by Britton and Diebler, along with a Pitt error and a Balsis service ace, to turn an 18-16 deficit into a 20-19 lead.  But the Panthers responded with the final six points of the set, getting blocks on each of the final two points, to move one set away from the match win.  Valpo led for much of the first half of the final set, but trailing 10-9, a 4-0 run gave Pitt the lead for good, and despite kills by Diebler and Porché staving off the Panthers’ first two match opportunities, the Panthers would close out the four-set win.

Valpo held its own offensively against Pitt, putting down 56 kills on .278 hitting, but the Panthers countered with 58 kills on .305 hitting.  Porché again paced the Crusader offense, tallying 17 kills while swinging at a .433 clip.  Britton registered 13 kills of her own, while Groesbeck picked up her first career double-double with ten kills and ten digs.  Root led all players with 18 digs, while Layman led Valpo with three blocks.

Pittsburgh (6-6) was paced by 20 kills on .562 hitting by Meagan Dooley, who also held match-high honors with seven blocks.  Amy Town added 16 kills and six rejections, while Imani Harper chipped in 11 kills and five blocks.

Valparaiso (7-5) kicks off the 2009 home campaign at the Athletics-Recreation Center with a pair of Horizon League matches next weekend.  The Crusaders will host Wright State on Friday night and Cleveland State on Saturday night, both matches taking place at 7 p.m.  All the action can be heard live on WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso and online at www.valpoathletics.com, which will also have links for live stats, as well as live video through the Horizon League Network.
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
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
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 Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
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
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
W 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
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
M 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