Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Rally, Take Four-Set Win over Mastodons
Allison Sears tallied 14 kills on .312 hitting in the win over IPFW.
Allison Sears tallied 14 kills on .312 hitting in the win over IPFW.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Valparaiso’s resilience was showcased Saturday at the Shamrock Invitational in Notre Dame, Ind., as the Crusaders, already trailing by one set, faced two IPFW set points in the second frame.  But the Crusaders fought off the Mastodons, won the second set, and rode the momentum all the way to a 3-1 (20-25, 27-25, 25-19, 25-20) victory, Valpo’s first win over IPFW since 2004.

“IPFW made some crucial errors late in the second set that gave us chances to win the set,” said Crusader head coach Carin Avery.  “We were able to take advantage of their errors and come from behind to take the set.  It was definitely the turning point of the match.”

The Crusaders jumped out on top early in the opening set, running out to a quick 8-3 edge on the back of Angie Porché (Lynwood, Ill./Thornton Fractional South), who posted two kills and three service aces in the opening run.  The Mastodons would not let Valpo pull any further away, however, earning a tie at 11-11.  The Crusaders maintained the advantage as late as 19-18, but IPFW went on a set-closing 7-1 spurt to take the opener.

It was IPFW which took the early edge in the second set, taking as much as a four-point lead.  Valpo utilized a mid-set 9-3 spurt, keyed by three kills from Allison Sears (Elkhart, Ind./Memorial), to take an 18-16 edge.  But the Mastodons rallied back and earned their first set point at 24-23.  Porché tallied a kill to even up the frame at 24, but IPFW responded with another kill for its second set point.  A service error gave the Crusaders life, however, and Porché came through with another termination, followed by a combined block with Tara Newton (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) to send the match into the in-game break knotted up at one set apiece.

The third set was tight early, with the Mastodons holding the lead as late as 8-7.  But the Crusaders went on an 8-3 run to go up by four points, 15-11, at the media timeout, and never let the lead fall under three the remainder of the set.  Valpo jumped all over IPFW early in the final set, taking a quick 13-4 advantage, and cruised to the victory.

“The big game-changer for us was bringing in Jenny Pokorny (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) in the third set in the front row for Kim Bukowski (Waukesha, Wis./West),” said Avery.  “IPFW was getting some easy kills attacking Kim on the block, and with Jenny coming in to set and block in the front row, that limited their ability to get those easy points on the outside.”

Valparaiso was led on both sides of the ball by Porché, who posted 18 kills on .371 hitting and added her second consecutive double-double with a team-best 15 digs.  Midway through the match, Porché moved into sixth place on Valpo’s career kills chart and now has 1,095 career terminations.  Sears added 14 kills on .312 hitting to lead a Crusader offense which hit .255 for the match.

“It’s been really exciting to see the combination of Angie and Allison together on the court again,” said Avery.  “The two of them were really starting to hit their stride last year before Allison got hurt, and to have that duo back on the court really helps our offensive attack.”

Brittany Malicoat (Elkhart, Ind./Memorial) added 14 digs in the back row, reaching double figures in digs for the 53rd consecutive match, while Val Bollenbacher (Bremen, Ind./Bremen) chipped in 12 digs.  Newton led the Crusaders at the net with four blocks, while also adding eight kills on .421 hitting.

Valparaiso (2-0) plays for the Shamrock Invitational championship Sunday afternoon, as the Crusaders take on the host Fighting Irish at 1 p.m. CDT.  All the action can be heard live on WVUR, 95.1 FM, Valparaiso, and live stats, audio and video are available online at www.valpoathletics.com.

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
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
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 Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25 Horizon League Tournament
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
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