In a match that was close throughout, Valparaiso put together an 8-0 run to seize control of the fourth game and of the match, defeating IUPUI three games to one (29-31, 30-23, 30-28, 30-19) Friday night in Indianapolis, Ind.
The Crusaders took advantage of another stellar defensive effort, tallying 17 blocks on the night. Katie Bova (Milwaukee, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S.) set a career high with seven blocks, while Liz Mikos (Dundee, Ill./Jacobs H.S.) topped her season high with 12 rejections of her own.
The first game was a back-and-forth affair, featuring 17 ties and eight lead changes. Valpo had game point at 29-28, but IUPUI fought back, taking the next three points to capture game one. The Crusaders asserted themselves early in game two, taking the lead early. The Jaguars cut the lead to one at 16-15, forcing a Valpo timeout, but the Crusaders would never relinquish the advantage, extending the lead to as much as eight points.
The Crusaders again seized a lead in the early stages of game three, and again the Jaguars stayed close, tying the score on a number of occasions. Valpo took advantage of a kill by Lauren Moulton (Elgin, Ill./Larking H.S.) on its second game point to go up two games to one. The Brown and Gold went up 19-11 in the deciding game after their 8-0 run and never let the Jaguars get closer than six points the rest of the way.
Jessie Fox (Granger, Ind./Penn H.S.) had another superb match on both sides of the net, hitting .400 with 11 kills and also contributing five blocks. Amy Palash (Winfield, Ill./Saint Francis H.S.) led the Valpo offense with 19 kills, while Moulton tallied 13 kills of her own, as five Crusaders tallied double-digit kills.
The Brown and Gold also got a balanced effort to outdig the Jaguars 82-77. Palash paced Valpo with 21 digs, Bova supplied 18, while libero Brittany Marks (Elkhart, Ind./Memorial H.S.) added 17 digs.
Tracy Bailey and Casey Chrzastowski led IUPUI (11-13, 4-5 Mid-Con) with 15 kills apiece. Erin Jones had a match-high 23 digs in the losing effort.
Valparaiso (20-5, 9-1 Mid-Con) returns to the court Saturday afternoon, traveling to Chicago to take on Mid-Con foe Chicago State. First serve is slated for 5 p.m.