Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
CRUSADERS BACK HOME FOR A BIG CONFERENCE MATCH FRIDAY

Thursday, October 20, 2005

VALPARAISO (16-5, 6-1 Mid-Con) VS WESTERN ILLINOIS (12-9, 6-1 Mid-Con)

WHEN:
Friday, October 21, 7:00 p.m. at Valparaiso

WHERE:
At Athletics-Recreation Center (Valparaiso, Ind.)

RADIO: WVUR, 95.1 FM and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics

TV: None.

SERIES RECORD: This marks the 30th time these two schools will meet, with Valpo holding a 24-5 series lead, including a 3-1 win earlier this year in Macomb, Ill. The Brown and Gold have taken 10 in row from the Westerwinds, dating all the way back to the 1999 season, three years before Carin Avery's arrival at Valpo. Perhaps more impressively, the Crusaders have never lost at home against Western Illinois, winning all 13 times the two teams have met. Additionally, the Crusaders have won 17 straight matches at home and 24 of their last 25 home conference matches.

ON THE VERGE: Head coach Carin Avery is poised to surpass Cindy Harris as Valpo volleyball's all-time winningest coach. Entering tonight's match, Avery and Harris sit at 92 wins apiece, but Avery has reached the mark much faster. Harris took five seasons and 171 matches to obtain 92 wins, while Avery has coached just 120 matches and is midway through her fourth season. Avery has enjoyed eight separate streaks of at least five straight victories, including a school record-setting 14-match winning streak, and has led Valpo to two straight Mid-Con regular season and tournament titles. Avery inherited a program that had suffered through three straight losing seasons and has improved on her win total each year at Valpo, including a school-record 29 wins in 2004.

WILL YOU PROTECT THIS HOUSE? : The Crusaders have dominated on the court of the Athletics-Recreation Center since Carin Avery took over prior to the 2002 season. Valpo has accumulated a 38-4 record at home under Avery, including a current streak of 17 straight victories dating back to last season. In addition, the Crusaders are 24-1 at home against Mid-Con opponents since 2002, including the 2003 Mid-Con Tournament title.

DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS: Valparaiso has ratcheted up the defensive intensity in 2005. The Crusaders sit atop the Mid-Con with 2.89 blocks/game. Valpo has registered double-digit blocks in twelve matches, and tied a school record for blocks in a match earlier this season, recording 21 against UCLA. Valpo also leads the Mid-Con, sitting seventh in the nation, with 18.77 digs/game, and have held opponents to a .127 hitting percentage on the season.

TOP-NOTCH OFFENSE: The Crusaders currently reside atop the Mid-Con and rank 16th in the nation, with 16.50 kills/game to date. Valpo has spread the ball around, as six different Crusaders have at least 130 kills, led by 222 from Amy Palash. The Brown and Gold also lead the Mid-Con with 14.61 assists/game.

SET IN STONE: Senior setter Katie Bova is making her case as a threat in all aspects of the game after being named 2004 Mid-Con Setter of the Year. Bova has continued to get the job done, leading the Mid-Con with 11.75 assists/game. She has stepped up defensively, averaging 3.44 digs/game and moving into Valpo's top-10 in career digs. Bova has also given opponents cause to worry about her attacking, as she has contributed just under two kills per game. She also leads the Mid-Con, currently hitting at a .301 rate.

QUEEN OF BLOCKS: Liz Mikos has been leaving her mark on the Valpo record books during her final season. The middle blocker became Valpo's all-time leader in both total and solo blocks earlier this season. Mikos also leads the Mid-Con with 1.54 career blocks/game. She had a stretch of 55 consecutive matches with at least one block snapped earlier this season against Oakland. Not to be overlooked is her offense, as Mikos is hitting .245 with 2.67 kills/game this season.

MODEL OF CONSISTENCY: Senior right side hitter Lauren Moulton has been a constant presence up front for Valpo this season and over the course of her career. Moulton has posted double-digit kill totals eleven times this season, including one stretch of seven straight matches. She also has proven to be efficient with her attacks, hitting at least .300 on eleven occasions. Moulton is Valpo's all-time leader with a .279 hitting percentage, and has moved into sixth all-time with 1,064 career kills, just 24 kills away from fifth. On the defensive side of the ball, Moulton has recorded 61 blocks on the season, jumping into fifth place on Valpo's career chart with 359 total blocks.

LEAVING HER MARK: Libero Brittany Marks has already made an impact on the Crusader squad midway through her freshman year. Marks has put up double-digit digs in five matches this season, including four of her last five. Earlier this season, Marks earned her first career Mid-Con Defensive Player of the Week award. Marks entered the match at libero in the third game against Notre Dame and picked up 12 digs, the most in a single game for any Valpo player this season. Marks also made the start at libero against Oakland and registered 15 digs over 3 games. Last week against Oral Roberts, Marks tied her career high with 20 digs. In conference play, she ranks sixth in the Mid-Con with 4.19 digs/game.

THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT AMY: Sophomore outside hitter Amy Palash has been getting it done at both ends of the floor for the Crusaders in 2005. Palash, who was a member of the 2004 Mid-Con All Freshman Team, leads Valpo and ranks 3rd in the Mid-Con with 3.36 kills per game. On the defensive end, Amy is averaging 3.56 digs/game, good for 8th in the conference. Palash has also received two Mid-Con Player of the Week awards this season, giving her three for her career.

WESTERWIND NOTES: Western Illinois enters tonight's battle tied for first place in the Mid-Con and on a seven-match win streak. The Westerwinds have defeated five straight conference foes during the streak, including toppling Oral Roberts in Tulsa.

The libero position is tailored for Westernwind junior Jennifer Alexander. Alexander is currently averaging a league-best 5.28 digs/game. Over her career, she has averaged 5.34 digs/game, a mark that is the best all-time in the Mid-Con. She is also third all-time in total digs with 1,570.

Middle hitter Jenna Yurs is making an impact on the defensive side of the net for Western Illinois. Yurs, who sits among the Mid-Con's all-time best in blocks per game, has already registered 128 blocks this season. Her 1.56 blocks per game leads the league and ranks 16th nationally.
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
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
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
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
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 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
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 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
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
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
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana