The Crusader defense came up with 10 blocks and Lauren Moulton (Elgin, Ill./Larkin H.S.) led a balanced attack with nine kills Friday night as the Valparaiso University volleyball team swept St. Louis University, 30-24, 30-22, 30-23 in their first match of the 2005 Popcorn Classic at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
The Brown and Gold recorded just 42 kills in the three-game match, but benefited from a strong defensive effort and 14 service errors by the Billikens (3-5). No Crusader recorded double-digit kills, but Jessi Novak (Antigo, Wis./Antigo H.S.) and Katie Bova (Milwaukee, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S.) chipped in eight kills to go with Moulton's nine. Bova added a team-high 28 assists while hitting .667 and Moulton hit .500 for the match.
Jessie Fox (Granger, Ind./Penn H.S.) and Moulton led the Crusader defense with five blocks apiece, with Liz Mikos (Dundee, Ill./Jacobs H.S.) chipping in three blocks.
Tatyana Menshikova was the lone bright spot for the Billikens, recording 16 kills. Menshikova and Lauren Christman each recorded four blocks for St. Louis.
The first match of the day saw the Eastern Michigan Eagles (4-0) remain undefeated with a dominating 30-27, 30-12, 30-15 victory over Drake (0-7). Melissa Bartlett and Lindsey Piccolini led the way for the Eagles with 11 kills apiece.
The Popcorn Classic concludes tomorrow with four matches beginning at 10:00 a.m. with St. Louis taking on Eastern Michigan. The Crusaders (6-1) close out the morning session with a 12:30 p.m. match against Drake. The afternoon session features a 4:30 p.m. match between Drake and St. Louis before Valpo and Eastern Michigan take the court at 7:00 p.m.