Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Drop Nail-Biter at Western Illinois

Friday, October 06, 2006

Angie Porché (Lynwood, Ill./Thornton-Fractional South) had more kills than any Crusader this season and Sara Hughes (San Antonio, Texas/Perrysburg, Ohio, H.S.) had the second best passing night in program history, but the Brown and Gold dropped a heartbreaking 25-30, 30-28, 21-30, 30-27, 18-16 decision Friday night at Western Illinois.

The loss was Valpo's second Mid-Con defeat in as many Fridays, and secured the first two-loss conference season for the Crusaders since 2002. The Brown and Gold have lost only four times in Mid-Con play since the start of the 2003 season, and all four defeats have come in five games.

Friday, Valpo burst out strong in search of their 13th win in a row over the Westerwinds, taking game one 30-25 on the strength of a .500 hitting percentage, highlighted by six kills each from Tiffany Meikle (Cottage Grove, Wis./Monona Grove) and Nicole Schulz (Kewaskum, Wis./Kettle Moraine Lutheran). Hughes, en route to 78 assists on the night, had 23 in game one assisted on all but one of Valpo's 24 kills in the game.

After dropping a tight game two, the Crusaders closed game three on a 16-6 run to move within one game of taking the match, but again in game four Western Illinois squeaked out a win to force a fifth game.

In the decisive game, Valpo raced out quickly to an 11-6 lead behind three quick Porché kills. But the Westerwinds scored the next five points on four consecutive Valpo attack errors, and eventually went ahead 15-14 on an Ashley Baker kill. The Crusaders, however, would not relent, staving off three match points before Patty Melinauskas sent the over 700 fans home happy from Western Hall with the winning kill.

Hughes, who had set a career-high with 69 assists earlier this season, finished the match with an astounding 78 assists, the second highest total in Crusader history. Only Jenny Rohren, who had 81 on Halloween of 1998, has had more assists in a single match.

The beneficiaries of all those assists, of course, were the Valpo hitters, five of whom racked up double-digit kills. The freshman Porché led that charge with a career-high 23 kills and a .306 hitting percentage. Jessie Fox (Granger, Ind./Penn) was next with 17 kills, the sixth straight match the senior has reached double-figures.

Miekle, who had been battling for playing time before a strong performance against Oral Roberts last weekend, had a career-high 16 kills to go along with 17 digs and two aces. Schulz, with 14, and Allison Sears (Elkhart, Ind./Memorial), who had 13, also reached the double-figure mark. Valpo had 86 kills as a team, the fourth highest single-match total in program history.

Ashley Baker led Western Illinois (7-10, 3-0 Mid-Con) with 23 kills, hitting .386. The Crusaders had a higher hitting percentage than the Westerwinds, but the hosts had 11 blocks to only six for Valpo.

The Brown and Gold (11-7, 2-2 Mid-Con) will look to right the ship Saturday night when they take on UMKC at 7:00 p.m. in Kansas City, Mo. Valpo will be back at home next Friday and Saturday at 7:00 p.m., taking on IUPUI and Chicago State respectively.

box score
season stats
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. #21/21 Notre Dame
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
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
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
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
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Green Bay
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Valpo