Sophomore Lizzie Zaleski (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist) nearly became the first Crusader in six years to post a triple-double on Saturday, but the Valparaiso University volleyball team fell in four sets (25-23, 24-26, 25-18, 25-21) to Cleveland State at the ARC. Along the way, senior Morganne Longoria (Burlington, Wis./Burlington) moved into third place in program history in career digs.
How It Happened
- Valpo led by two points late in the opening set at 21-19, and still held the advantage at 23-22, but the Vikings scored three straight points to claim the opening frame.
- The Crusaders rallied from an early six-point deficit in the second set and found themselves leading late, 23-21. Cleveland State scored the next three points to earn a set point try, but sophomore Katherine Carlson (Lake Orion, Mich./Notre Dame Prep) tallied a kill to force extra points.
- A block from senior Lexie Bouza (Elgin, Ill./Burlington Central) and sophomore Sydney Bronner (Frankenmuth, Mich./Frankenmuth) gave Valpo its own set point opportunity, and junior Taylor Graboski (Upper Sandusky, Ohio/Upper Sandusky) came through with a kill to even the match at one set apiece into the intermission.
- Valpo led 15-14 just past the halfway point of the third set, but CSU picked up seven of the next eight points to take control.
- Trailing 9-8 in the fourth set, the Crusaders surrendered seven straight points to the Vikings. Valpo battled back, drawing within two points on multiple occasions late in the frame, but was unable to complete the comeback.
Inside the Match
- Zaleski finished Saturday’s match with 25 assists, 12 digs and eight kills as she approached a triple-double, last accomplished by a Valpo player in 2010 (Jenny Pokorny). Zaleski picked up her eight kills on just 15 swings, hitting at a .467 clip.
- Carlson posted a team-high 14 kills on .238 hitting, while Graboski again reached double figures, tallying 12 kills of her own.
- Longoria tallied 23 digs to lead all players, moving past Sara Silcox with her 17th dig of the match to claim third place in Crusader history in the category. The senior now owns 1,894 career digs.
- Longoria also paced the Crusaders with a trio of service aces.
- Bronner was in on four of Valpo’s seven team blocks, while Bouza set a career high with three blocks.
The Crusaders (7-11, 1-3 Horizon) step out of league play Tuesday evening for a match at Western Illinois. First serve is slated for 6 p.m., with live stats available via ValpoAthletics.com.