Liz Mikos (Dundee, Ill./Jacobs H.S.) registered a block late in the second game to become Valpo's career blocks leader, and Katie Bova (Milwaukee, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S.) recorded her second triple-double of the season as the Crusaders defeated Belmont 3-1 (30-25, 29-31, 30-24, 30-25) Saturday morning at the Blue Demon Invitational in Chicago, Ill.
Mikos, who came into the match needing one block to tie current Valpo graduate assistant Heather Hynds, picked up a solo block early in game two to tie the mark. She then combined with Lauren Moulton (Elgin, Ill./Larkin H.S.) on a block in the latter stages of the second game to move into sole possession of first place all-time. Mikos went on to record three more blocks to finish with five for the match and 447 for her career to date.
Valpo employed all weapons in a balanced offense versus the Bruins, as six Crusaders finished with double-digit kill totals. Jessi Novak (Antigo, Wis./Antigo H.S.) led the Brown and Gold with 16 kills, while Mikos, Moulton, and Amy Palash (Winfield, Ill./Saint Francis H.S.) chipped in 14 apiece. Jessie Fox (Granger, Ind./Penn H.S.) added 12 kills in the winning effort.
Bova supplemented the attack with 10 kills of her own, while also adding 48 assists and 14 digs, registering her third career triple-double. Palash nearly recorded her own triple-double, finishing with 12 digs and nine assists. Heidi Hammond (Crown Point, Ind./Merrillville H.S.) tallied a team-high 19 digs, leading five Crusaders in double figures.
Sara Jacobsen led the way for Belmont (3-3) with 19 kills, while Colleen Nilson hit .458 with 14 kills. Ashley Collier chalked up 16 digs for the Bruins.
Valpo finished the match with 80 kills, good for fourth-best in Crusader history for a four game match. The Brown and Gold outhit the Bruins .271-.201 and held an 83-62 advantage in digs.
Valparaiso (4-1) returns to action tonight, as they take on host DePaul in the final match of the Blue Demon Invitational. First serve is slated for 7 p.m.