Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Fall in Five to Oral Roberts

Friday, September 29, 2006

Valpo battled back valiantly from a 2-0 hole against preseason conference favorite Oral Roberts, forcing a decisive game five before eventually falling 30-24, 30-26, 22-30, 26-30, 15-11 Friday in front of 1,152 raucous fans at the Athletics-Recreation Center.

The loss snapped the Crusaders' 25-match home court winning streak, six match overall winning streak and was only Valpo's third loss to a Mid-Con foe since the start of the 2003 season. The Golden Eagles have accounted for two of those losses, one in each of the last two seasons.

In the early going, it looked like Oral Roberts would cruise to a win, jumping out to leads midway through games one and two and holding on late in each one. But after the eight minute intermission between games two and three, the Crusaders were a different team and came out inspired in the third game, rolling to a 30-22 win behind a .321 hitting percentage and some excellent play from junior Tiffany Meikle (Cottage Grove, Wis./Monona Grove) off the bench.

Game four was an epic, with both teams going back and forth with the lead before the Brown and Gold closed the game on a nine-three run keyed by three Angie Porché (Lynwood, Ill./Thornton-Fractional South) kills.

Then early in game five, it looked like the young Crusaders would finish the comeback, taking a 10-6 lead. But the veteran Golden Eagles showed their poise, taking advantage of several Valpo errors and winning on a kill from defending Mid-Con Player of the Year Ori Zuzic.

Zuzic had a match-high 27 kills on 79 attacks, but hit only .127. The senior also chipped in 11 digs and six blocks for the victors.

The Crusaders were more balanced all around, with four players carding at least 11 kills and five with 11 or more digs. Porché was the top offensive weapon, leading the team with 17 kills to go with three aces, six digs and four blocks. Nicole Schulz (Kewaskum, Wis./Kettle Moraine Lutheran) had a big day on both sides of the net, tallying 11 kills and leading all Crusaders with a career-high 10 blocks. Jessie Fox (Granger, Ind./Penn) narrowly missed a double-double, finishing with 12 kills and nine blocks, while Allison Sears (Elkhart, Ind./Memorial) had 13 kills.

Sophomore libero Brittany Marks (Elkhart, Ind./Memorial) had a record-setting night on the defensive end, racking up a career-high 33 digs, the fourth most ever by a Crusader in a single match. Sara Hughes (San Antonio, Texas/Perrysburg, Ohio, H.S.) joined Schulz with a double-double, racking up 53 assists and a career-high 11 digs.

The Crusaders hit .141, better than the Golden Eagles (12-6, 2-0 Mid-Con) who hit only .134. Maja Devic had 11 blocks for Oral Roberts and Cris Alves added 24 digs. Both teams finished with 17 blocks, and Valpo out-dug Oral Roberts 88-69.

Valpo (10-6, 1-1 Mid-Con) will try to get back on the winning track Saturday night when they close out the weekend against Centenary. First serve in that match is set for 7:00 p.m. with live coverage available on 95.1 FM, WVUR, and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.

box score
season stats
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
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
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 Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
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 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
M 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 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
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
W 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
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
M 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
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay