Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Win Seventh Straight With Sweep of Indiana State
Tara Diebler had ten kills on .391 hitting Tuesday. (Ray Acevedo)
Tara Diebler had ten kills on .391 hitting Tuesday. (Ray Acevedo)

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Valparaiso won its seventh straight match and extended one of the best starts in program history with a sweep (25-12, 25-19, 25-20) of Indiana State Tuesday evening in Terre Haute, Ind.

The 2008 squad also started out 7-1 before suffering its second loss, while the 2005 Crusader team had an 8-1 start to the year.  This year's incarnation is chasing the 2003 Valpo side, which won its first eight matches en route to a 10-1 start.

“I'm very, very proud of the team for winning this match tonight, especially in three sets,” said Crusader head coach Carin Avery.  “We've had a very grueling two weeks, both physically and mentally being on the road in a bus as long as we have.  I was a little worried coming into this match about mental and physical fatigue from being on the road so long, and while I wouldn't say it was the sharpest match on our side, we did more than enough great things to win.”

The Crusader defense was the impetus for the first-set victory, as Valpo held Indiana State (5-3) to a -.048 attack percentage in the opening frame.  Valpo's offense hit just .195 in the set, but the Crusaders came up with a number of kills during a key run mid-set.  Katie Britton (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian) put down a trio of kills during the spurt, while Tara Diebler (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) and Jenny Pokorny (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) each had rally-enders as well in the run, along with a service ace by Taylor Root (Jenison, Mich./Jenison).  The 9-0 run turned an 8-7 deficit into a 16-8 lead and the Crusaders cruised to the 1-0 advantage from there.

An 8-2 run to open the second set gave Valpo the lead, but Indiana State would remain within striking distance and eventually close to within two points at 19-17.  Back-to-back Sycamore errors pushed the advantage back up to four points, though, and two kills by Diebler along with one from Britton gave the Crusaders set point.  Diebler came through with a solo block to close a set in which the Crusaders hit at a .375 clip with 15 kills to take the 2-0 advantage into the in-game break.

The third set didn't come with nearly the ease that the first two frames had for the Crusaders, as Indiana State led 11-6 and then 13-10.  But a kill by Amy Groesbeck (Wheaton, Ill./North) gave Valpo the serve back, and freshman Ariel Cudney (LaPorte, Ind./LaPorte), who entered the match as the Horizon League leader in aces/set, stepped back and served a pair of aces in a three-point span to give Valpo the lead.  Indiana State briefly reclaimed the lead at 16-15, but a 5-0 spurt with two kills by Britton, one by Pokorny, an ace by Root and a solo block by Diebler gave the Crusaders control of the finale.  Groesbeck eventually ended the sweep with her fourth kill of the set as Valpo won 3-0 for just the second time this year.

Britton and Diebler tied for match-high honors with ten kills apiece, the latter doing it on .391 hitting.  Pokorny handed out 28 assists to go with five kills and eight digs, while Root tied for the match lead with 21 digs.  Valpo hit .248 as a team and enjoyed the advantage over ISU in kills (42-30), aces (5-0), digs (59-49) and blocks (4-3).

Valparaiso (7-1) looks for its third straight in-season tournament title this weekend, as the Crusaders travel to take part in the Bradley Invitational.  Tournament action opens with Valpo taking on Presbyterian College at 4 p.m., and every serve can be heard live on WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso and online at www.valpoathletics.com, where you can also find live stats and chat for all three matches.

Softball Northern Illinois 6 VU Softball Field
Apr 8 Valpo 8
Baseball Valpo 5 Evanston, Ill.
Apr 8 Northwestern 12
Softball Northern Illinois 3 8 inn.
Apr 8 Valpo 4
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
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
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
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 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
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 Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 5:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
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
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26 Horizon League Tournament
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