ValpoAthletics.com
Crusaders Down DePaul in Home Opener

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

For the first time this year, and the 24th straight time since 2004, the Crusader volleyball team won a match at the Athletics-Recreation Center, toppling DePaul 30-20, 30-17, 23-30, 30-17 Tuesday night.

The last time a Valpo team lost at home was September 1, 2004 in that season's opening match against Michigan. The Crusaders went 13-0 at the Athletics-Recreation last season and played at home for the first time this year after 13-straight matches on the road.

Freshman Angie Porché (Lynwood, Ill./Thornton-Fractional South) quickly introduced herself to the home crowd, blowing out of the gate with eight kills in game one en route a team-high 19 on the night. Porché hit .486 for the match, added four aces, five digs and three blocks, equaling or matching her career high in kills, aces, digs and blocks.

At the other end of the spectrum, two-time All-Conference senior Jessie Fox (Granger, Ind./Penn) continued to perform, both at home and on the road, and delivered a 15-kill, seven-block night Tuesday. Fox's seven blocks set a new season high, and the senior also moved into sole possession of sixth place on the career blocking list with 357.

Nicole Schulz (Kewaskum, Wis./Kettle Moraine Lutheran) made her first start at the ARC and joined Porché and Fox in double-figures with 11 kills, chipping in six blocks. Sara Hughes (San Antonio, Texas/Perrysburg, Ohio, H.S.) had 46 assists and seven digs, Brittany Marks (Elkhart, Ind./Memorial) racked up 18 digs and freshman Val Bollenbacher (Bremen, Ind./Bremen) continued her strong play of late with six kills, five blocks and 10 digs.

The Brown and Gold had 13 blocks as a team, one off a season high, and hit .257 for the match including .467 in the decisive fourth game. Three Crusaders had double-digit digs, Marks, Bollenbacher and Heidi Hammond (Crown Point, Ind./Merrillville), and the Crusaders had 10 service aces.

DePaul (4-10) got 12 kills from Morgan Ingersoll and 10 kills and 15 digs from Ellen Hayes, but fell to Valpo for the second time this season. The Blue Demons did manage 10 blocks, but hit only .133.

Valpo (9-5) has won a season-high five matches in a row and will go for six Friday at 7:00 p.m. when they kick off the defense of their Mid-Con title against Oakland at the ARC. That match will be carried live on 95.1 FM and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.

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