16 kills apiece from senior Emily Campbell (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) and junior Taylor Graboski (Upper Sandusky, Ohio/Upper Sandusky) led the way for the Valparaiso University volleyball team Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders closed the weekend on a winning note, earning a 3-1 (20-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-18) victory at Youngstown State. Senior Morganne Longoria (Burlington, Wis./Burlington) moved into the Crusaders’ single-season top-10 in digs during the victory.
How It Happened
- YSU led start-to-finish in the first set and pulled away mid-set with an 8-2 run which extended a one-point lead to seven points.
- A four-point run early in the second set gave Valpo the lead for good at 11-7, and the Crusaders later extended their advantage to six points at 18-12 with a 5-1 spurt. YSU would close back to within three at 20-17, but Valpo slammed the door with three straight points en route to evening up the match.
- Valpo’s offense was at its best in the third set, as the Crusaders hit .312 with 15 kills. The big run came mid-set on the serve of sophomore Katherine Carlson (Lake Orion, Mich./Notre Dame Prep), as the Crusaders reeled off eight consecutive points to take control.
- It looked like the match was destined for a fifth set early on in the fourth frame, as YSU scored the first five points and extended its advantage to 10-2. But the Crusaders completely flipped the script from there, going on a huge 16-2 run which included six kills from four different players, two service aces and a pair of blocks. Leading 18-12, Valpo would let YSU get no closer than five points the rest of the way.
Inside the Match
- Campbell’s 16 kills came on .324 hitting, her second-best hitting percentage of the year. Meanwhile, Graboski recorded her second-highest kill total of the year with her 16 terminations.
- Carlson once again approached a triple-double on Saturday, posting nine kills, nine assists and eight digs in the win.
- Longoria came up one assist shy of her career high, tallying 27 assists while also picking up a team-best 14 digs at libero. She now owns 549 digs on the year, surpassing Sara Silcox’s 2003 season (543) to move into the top-10.
- Campbell added 13 digs to finish with a double-double as well.
- The Crusaders picked up nine blocks as a team on Saturday, led by five rejections from senior Jamie Lacheta (Warsaw, Ind./Warsaw) and four blocks by sophomore Sydney Bronner (Frankenmuth, Mich./Frankenmuth).
- The nine blocks contributed to 30 total YSU attack errors in the four sets, as the Crusaders took advantage of the Penguins hitting just .120 as a team to earn the win.
Thoughts From Head Coach Carin Avery
“We got a great showing from our pin attackers today. They were swinging very aggressive, and that helped propel our entire team to be aggressive in every aspect of our game.”
The Crusaders (13-16, 4-8 Horizon) return home for their final three home matches of the season, starting next Friday evening as they host UIC at 6 p.m. The match can be seen live on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app, with links for the live video and live stats available via ValpoAthletics.com.