Valparaiso University Sports Update, August 29, 2016

By: Valparaiso University Last Updated: August 29, 2016

VU-Womes-Golf-Claims-Chi-Town-Classic-TitleWomen’s Golf Claims Chi-Town Classic Title
The Valparaiso University women’s golf team swept the top four spots as it hosted the Chi-Town Classic Sunday at The Course at Aberdeen, claiming the team title with a team round of 312. Leading the way for the Crusaders was senior Angie Kim (Schaumburg, Ill./Fremd), who shot a round of 75 to win by two shots.

The Crusaders won the 18-hole event by 15 strokes with their total of 312 on Sunday. UIC placed second at 327, while Chicago State rounded out the field at 329.

Kim brought home the individual championship from the Chi-Town Classic for a second straight year with her round of 75, leading the way as the Crusaders earned each of the top four spots. Sophomore Madison McCreary (Batesville, Ind./Batesville) posted a career-best round of 77 to finish in second, while junior Katie Willenbrink (Mishawaka, Ind./Penn) shot a 78 to finish in a tie for third.

Senior Sydney Shrum (Cloverdale, Ind./Cloverdale) finished Sunday with an 18-hole score of 82 to finish in a tie for ninth place, while junior Kiana Jongsma (Dyer, Ind./Lake Central) rounded out the Crusaders’ five-player squad with a round of 86.

A trio of Crusaders played Sunday as individuals as well, led by freshman Tiffany Curtis (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point), who debuted with a round of 78 to finish in a tie for third place. Sophomore Kylie Shoemake (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) finished tied for sixth after shooting an 81, while freshman Kayla Krueger (Spring Lake, Mich./Spring Lake) started her Valpo career with a round of 83.

Valparaiso will return to action Sept. 11-13 at the Golfweek Program Challenge in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Cronin’s Hat Trick Gives Valpo Overtime Win Over Loyola
Valparaiso University senior April Cronin (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) became just the fifth player in program history to net a hat trick, capping her three-goal performance Sunday afternoon with a golden goal in the 105th minute to give the Crusaders a 3-2, come-from-behind victory at Loyola.

How It Happened

  • It was Valpo controlling the game early, recording eight shots in the opening 18 minutes – including two on goal and another that ricocheted off the goal post – but it was Loyola which claimed the lead, as Avalon Senn-Raemont found the back of the net in the 26th minute.
  • For the second time in as many games, junior Grace Rogers (Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury) picked up an assist on a long free kick – this time sending a ball into the box from 30 yards out in the 63rd minute that Cronin headed in to make it a 1-1 game.
  • Loyola responded just over two minutes later to reclaim the lead, but Cronin again leveled the game with a dramatic equalizer in the 84th minute. Sophomore Jordon Tindell (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny) set up Cronin for another header, and the senior finished over the charging Loyola goalkeeper inside the near post.
  • The Ramblers had a shot hit the post in the 89th minute and another effort on goal in the 90th minute, but couldn’t convert as the game went into extra time.
  • After neither side had a shot on target in the first overtime period, both squads had an early shot on goal in the second extra session before Cronin netted the golden goal. The senior came down the left side, dribbling past her defender into the box, and beat the goalkeeper inside the far post to complete her hat trick.

Inside the Game

  • Cronin’s hat trick was just the fifth in Crusader program history, and the first since 2005. Cronin joins Beth Muskovich (at DePaul, 1996), Jenna Lawes (at Saint Mary’s [Ind.]), 1997), Brittany Derksen (Lipscomb, 2005) and Kendall Brown (at Cleveland State, 2005) as Valpo players who have scored three goals in one game.
  • It marked the first multi-goal game of Cronin’s career, as her previous 17 goals had come in 17 separate games. With 20 career goals, Cronin is now tied with Brown for third in program history in the category – just one shy of Emily King in second position.
  • Rogers now owns six career assists, having tallied two in each of her first two seasons before picking up a helper in both victories this weekend. Tindell recorded her first assist of the season after registering three in her first season of competition last year.
  • Senior Sydney Galvez-Daley (Chicago, Ill./Fenwick [Creighton]) made four saves in goal before being forced off in the 78th minute. Redshirt freshman Tess Barrett (Tinley Park, Ill./Providence Catholic) was called on to make her debut and stopped three shots to earn the victory.
  • 17 field players saw action for the Crusaders Sunday on the back end of a two-match weekend, with four Valpo players going the full 105 minutes, including Natalia Kontul (Solon, Ohio/Solon) – who has played each and every minute of the first four games of the year.

Thoughts From Head Coach John Marovich
“I’m extremely proud of this group for battling back today, not just once but twice. Those moments of adversity, when met with consistent and tireless effort regardless of situation, produce opportunities. Our entire team, from April’s hat trick to Tess stepping up in goal to the bench for constant support, lived the culture we want. Our result is a complete team effort and couldn’t have been achieved without everyone having belief of purpose.”

“We had a positive and good start to the match, creating many dangerous situations. I’m pleased with the attacking ideas and we executed the tactical plan early. We must continue to work on the final touch in the box so we can produce goals for the movement in the attacking third.”

“April capitalized on her opportunities today. Her game-winner was her taking the leadership role and responsibility to get the team a result. Her team battled for so long and so hard today, that it was great to see her burst of energy late to recognize and reward their effort.”

“Beyond April, it was nice to see many others making positive contributions today. Cory Griffith followed her two-goal performance on Friday with five shots today, and Michelle Mottonen was a strong attacking presence as well. The back line and midfield were integral to our success as well, challenging every 50/50 ball and working to win second balls.”

Next Up
The Crusaders (2-2-0) travel to Lincoln, Neb. for the Cornhusker Classic next weekend. Valpo will take on Saint Louis on Friday and Kansas on Sunday.

Campbell, Graboski Earn All-Tournament Team Honors
Valparaiso University volleyball senior Emily Campbell (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) and junior Taylor Graboski (Upper Sandusky, Ohio/Upper Sandusky) were named to the All-Tournament Team this weekend at the Black Knights Invitational as they helped lead the Crusaders to a 2-1 record on the opening weekend of action.

Campbell reached double figures in kills in each of the Crusaders’ three matches on the weekend, highlighted by posting 17 kills on .310 hitting in the win over CSU Bakersfield. She also recorded 17 digs in the victory over Army, posting a double-double. For the tournament, Campbell averaged 2.86 kills and 2.21 digs per set, and along the way, she moved into sixth place in Crusader history in career kills – just five kills shy of fifth place.

Graboski hit .312 while averaging 2.14 kills/set over the course of the weekend and picked up 13 blocks – second-most on the team. The junior stood out in the win over Army offensively, matching her career high with 15 kills and hitting at a .405 clip as she did not commit an attack error. Defensively, she tied for team-high honors in blocks in both of the Crusaders’ matches on Friday, including a seven-block effort in the victory over CSU Bakersfield.

Men’s Soccer Falls in Overtime at Loyola
Down two goals with 16 minutes to play in regulation, the Valparaiso University men’s soccer team scored twice late to force extra time in its regular season opener Saturday evening at Loyola. But the Ramblers struck again just 18 seconds from the end of the first overtime period as the Crusaders dropped their opener, 3-2.

How It Happened

  • The two sides played through a scoreless first half which featured just one shot on goal each way, before Loyola claimed a two-goal lead midway through the second half. Alec Lasinski found the back of the net in the 52nd minute, and Ryan Walker made it a 2-0 game in the 65th minute.
  • Valpo pulled one goal back in the 75th minute, as the Ramblers committed a foul in the penalty area. Senior Isaiah Madrid (Albuquerque, N.M./Eldorado [FGCU]) was tasked with converting the spot kick, and do so successfully, finding the lower left corner to cut the deficit in half.
  • Following a save with less than five minutes to play in regulation by senior Nico Campbell (Kingston, Jamaica/St. George’s College), the Crusaders countered and found the equalizer in the 87th minute. Madrid got into the attacking third and laid the ball off to junior Ramone Howell (Portmore, Jamaica/Jamaica College), who sent a blast inside the far post to force extra time.
  • The Crusaders had the best of play early in the first period of extra time, forcing Loyola goalkeeper Andrew Chekadanov into a save in the 93rd minute and putting together a couple other chances in the opening few minutes. But Loyola would score the golden goal with 99:42 on the scoreboard, with Marius Kullmann scoring the match-winner.

Inside the Game

  • Howell’s goal was the fourth of his Crusader career, while Madrid found the back of the net for the sixth time at Valpo. The three-point game for Madrid was his third career game in the Valpo uniform with at least three points.
  • Madrid converted on the penalty kick – his first effort during the regular season on a PK for the Crusaders. He also successfully converted on an attempt from the spot earlier this year in exhibition play at Notre Dame.
  • Madrid was one of three Crusaders in the field to go the distance on Saturday night, joined by senior Omar Lawrence (Kingston, Jamaica/Excelsior) and senior Matthew Gweh (Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview [High Point]).
  • Campbell made four saves in goal for the Crusaders, while Chekadanov stopped three shots for Loyola.

Thoughts From Head Coach Mike Avery
“It was a really good college soccer game tonight, featuring two good teams that tried to play, and the kind of game you might find in the NCAA Tournament. Loyola is very good, maybe the best Loyola team I've seen in ten years, and I'm certain they will have a lot to say about who wins the MVC this season.”

“For us, it was a great learning experience and a game we can use to grow early in the season. It took us a while to get going, but once we did, I thought we played quite well for long stretches of the game. Coming back from two goals down, on the road, is a real testament to the character of our group. We had two great chances to win in overtime, so it stings a bit now, but we will get back to work tomorrow and get ready for another great test down at SIUE.”

Next Up
The Crusaders (0-1-0) close out their opening weekend of play on the road Monday night as they travel to take on SIU Edwardsville. The match is slated for a 7 p.m. start, with live video and live stats available via

Crusaders Rally For Five-Set Win Over Army West Point
Facing host Army West Point in its finale at the Black Knights Invitational Saturday afternoon, the Valparaiso University volleyball team rallied from down two sets to one to earn a 3-2 (19-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-21, 15-12) victory to close out the opening weekend of play. Junior Taylor Graboski (Upper Sandusky, Ohio/Upper Sandusky) led the Crusader challenge, matching her career high with 15 kills without committing an attack error.

How It Happened

  • Army West Point led nearly start-to-finish to claim the opening set, but the Crusaders responded in the second set. Trailing 21-20, Valpo reeled off the final five points of the frame, capped by a kill from sophomore Katherine Carlson (Lake Orion, Mich./Notre Dame Prep) to even the match at one set apiece.
  • The Black Knights pulled away around the midway point of the third set to go ahead two sets to one, but again Valpo answered. The Crusaders hit .310 in the fourth set – posting 15 kills against just two attack errors – and claimed the lead for good at 7-6 to force a decisive fifth set.
  • Army West Point led early in the fifth set at 4-2 before a three-point spurt by the Crusaders gave them the lead – they would never trail again in the final frame.
  • Valpo would maintain just a narrow lead for most of the set as Army West Point tied it on numerous occasions, the latest coming at 12-12. But a tip kill from Carlson and an error by the Black Knights gave Valpo match point, and following a timeout, Carlson’s fourth kill of the fifth set closed out the victory.

Inside the Game

  • The Crusaders were out-killed by Army West Point, 66-55, but committed just 17 attack errors to the Black Knights’ 26.
  • Graboski’s 15 kills matched a career high she set against Oakland last season as a sophomore. She did it Saturday on 37 swings, hitting at a .405 clip for the match.
  • Graboski was backed up offensively by 14 kills from Carlson and 13 by senior Emily Campbell (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central), as the latter two reached double figures for the third straight match apiece. Campbell moved into sixth place this weekend in Crusader history in career kills, with her mark of 1,190 leaving her just five out of fifth position.
  • Senior Rachel Bruinsma (New Era, Mich./Western Michigan Christian) started at libero for the first time in her career and took full advantage, setting a new career high with 27 digs – nearly doubling her previous career best of 14 digs. Campbell added 17 digs as well for a double-double.
  • For a second straight day, sophomore Lizzie Zaleski (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist) posted a new career best in assists, tallying 30 in Saturday’s victory. She posted her third double-double of the weekend as well, finishing with 10 digs.
  • Sophomore Kayla Currier (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) closed out a strong opening weekend at the net with six blocks, tying for match-high honors. For the second straight day, senior Jamie Lacheta (Warsaw, Ind./Warsaw) tied her career best with four blocks as well.
  • Valpo posted a 2-1 mark on the weekend against a strong field, as each of its three opponents finished within the top-two of their respective leagues last season. Both Hofstra and Army West Point were 20-win programs a season ago as well.

Next Up
The Crusaders (2-1) head down to Alabama next weekend to play in the Trojan Invitational, hosted by Troy. Valpo opens tournament play Friday afternoon, Sept. 2 against New Mexico State and will take on Austin Peay in addition to the host Trojans.

Women’s Golf Announces 2016-17 Schedule
The Valparaiso University women’s golf team is scheduled to compete in 11 tournaments over the course of the 2016-17 schedule, a slate which kicks off Sunday as the Crusaders host the Chi-Town Classic at The Course at Aberdeen in Valparaiso.

This marks the second straight season that the Crusaders have hosted the Chi-Town Classic to kick off their season. Last year saw Valpo tie with Loyola for team title honors, while senior Angie Kim (Schaumburg, Ill./Fremd) returns to defend her individual championship.

Following their home tournament will be a trip to the Golfweek Program Challenge for the fourth straight year. The rest of the fall schedule includes trips to tournaments at Washington State and at New Mexico State for the first time, with the fall campaign ending at Evansville’s Benbow Invitational.

The spring schedule gets off to an early start, as the Crusaders travel to Port St. Lucie, Fla. for a tournament hosted by Ball State Feb. 10-11. Another trip to Florida for an event hosted by Butler is in the cards for early March, and then tournaments at Lamar, Fort Wayne and IUPUI are on the docket. The season ends for the Crusaders at the 2017 Horizon League Championship, contested at Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. from Apr. 23-25.

Crusaders Take Down NMSU In Home Opener
A dominant performance for the Valparaiso University women’s soccer team was highlighted by a pair of second-half goals from sophomore Cory Griffith (Lemont, Ill./Providence Catholic), as she found the back of the net in the 64th and 69th minutes to give the Crusaders a 2-0 win over New Mexico State at Brown Field on Friday evening.

How It Happened

  • New Mexico State pressured the Crusader defense early, tallying three shots in the opening 12 minutes – two of which were saved by senior goalkeeper Sydney Galvez-Daley (Chicago, Ill./Fenwick [Creighton]).
  • Valpo turned the tables in the final 30 minutes of the first half, finishing the opening period with eight shots – five on goal – and eight corner kicks. But the Crusaders were unable to score in the opening 45 minutes, as the game went into halftime scoreless.
  • Griffith got the Crusaders on the board in the 64th minute, taking a feed from senior April Cronin (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) and sending a shot from 20 yards out on the left flank past NMSU goalkeeper Ashley Martin.
  • Just over six minutes later, Griffith completed her second career brace. Junior Grace Rogers (Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury) sent a ball into the box from 45 yards away, and Griffith – with her back to the goal – got up above her defender to head the ball into the back of the net.

Inside the Game

  • Griffith now owns five career goals following her two-goal effort Friday. She previously netted a brace for the Crusaders last season in Horizon League play at Youngstown State.
  • Cronin’s assist gives her 41 career points, moving her alone into fifth place in Crusader history in the category.
  • Galvez-Daley finished with four saves for Valpo to earn the shutout – the 14th clean sheet of her career. Martin stopped 11 shots in goal for NMSU (0-3-0).
  • The Crusaders finished the match with a 22-10 advantage in shots, including a 13-4 edge in shots on goal. Valpo also peppered the box with 15 corner kicks, while the Aggies earned just one corner of their own.
  • 18 players saw action for Valpo on Friday, all playing at least 16 minutes apiece. Freshman Natalia Kontul (Solon, Ohio/Solon) was one of four Crusaders who went the full 90 minutes and now has played every minute of each of Valpo’s first three matches.

Thoughts From Head Coach John Marovich
“I thought that after the first 15 minutes, we just really settled in and found our rhythm. We were really consistent with our rhythm from that point up until the last five minutes of the game. Finding that rhythm really benefited us and led to some really creative combinations in the second half - things which will benefit us down the road.”

“Playing Michelle Mottonen up in the #9 role tonight, with her movement, really created problems for the defense. Her movement led to April having more time and space to play, and then Cory's ability up front to play hard and be relentless with her performance really changed the complexion of the game.”

“Cory's two goals were obviously big, but I think just as important was her mindset on the field - she displayed in her play the culture we want to have. She made a big difference, and I feel like that carried over and built throughout the team. Our back line got better with their shape, and everyone was cleaner with their play. Hopefully we can continue to build on tonight's performance moving forward.”

Next Up
The Crusaders (1-2-0) make the short trip to the Windy City on Sunday, traveling to Loyola for a 1 p.m. kickoff. Live stats will be available via

Volleyball Splits on Opening Day of Black Knights Invite
The Valparaiso University volleyball team split a pair of matches to open up the 2016 season Friday at Army West Point’s Black Knights Invitational. The Crusaders downed CSU Bakersfield 3-1 (18-25, 25-21, 25-22, 30-28) in the morning opener, but fell to Hofstra 3-2 (25-23, 16-25, 25-21, 15-25, 15-6) later in the evening.

How It Happened – CSU Bakersfield

  • The Roadrunners scored the opening six points of the match and never trailed in winning set one, 25-18.
  • Valpo took the lead in the second set for good early on in the frame during a 5-0 run, including two kills and a block from sophomore Kayla Currier (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East). CSUB closed to within one point late at 22-21, but the Crusaders scored the final three points of the set to win 25-21 and even the match.
  • CSUB led as the third set moved past the midway point and was ahead 17-14 before an 8-3 spurt gave the Crusaders a 22-20 advantage. The Roadrunners scored the next two points to tie the set at 22-all, but Valpo scored the last three points – the final point coming on a block from senior Jamie Lacheta (Warsaw, Ind./Warsaw) and junior Taylor Graboski (Upper Sandusky, Ohio/Upper Sandusky) – to win the set 25-22.
  • CSUB jumped out to an 11-3 lead to start the fourth set and still led by seven points at 16-9 before the Crusaders put together a massive comeback. Valpo scored 10 of the next 13 points to draw even at 19-19 and actually led by a single point on multiple occasions late. The Roadrunners held off three Valpo match points while the Crusaders prevented CSUB from forcing a fifth set twice. Finally, leading 29-28, sophomore Katherine Carlson (Lake Orion, Mich./Notre Dame Prep) put away a kill to close out the victory.

How It Happened – Hofstra

  • Valpo led late in the opening set at 22-20 before Hofstra scored five of the final six points to claim the opener, 25-23.
  • The Crusaders jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the second and forced the Pride into 10 attack errors in cruising to a 25-16 win.
  • Hofstra started the third set on a 6-1 run and never trailed. While Valpo closed to within one point late at 22-21, the Pride scored the final three points to take the third frame, 25-21.
  • The Crusaders broke open a tight fourth set late, ending the frame on a 10-2 run to win the fourth set 25-15 and force a decisive fifth set.
  • Valpo led the fifth set early at 3-1, but Hofstra scored the next 11 points and the Crusaders got no closer than seven points the rest of the way.

Inside the Game

  • Valpo out-hit CSU Bakersfield in the morning win, .185-.162, but was out-hit by Hofstra in the evening, .150-.140. The Pride also held a 20-kill advantage (60-40) over the Crusaders.
  • The Crusaders tallied 22 total team blocks over Friday’s pair of matches. Currier and Graboski tied for team-high honors with seven blocks versus CSUB – Currier matching her career high in the process – while Graboski and sophomore Sydney Bronner (Frankenmuth, Mich./Frankenmuth) each had four blocks versus Hofstra.
  • Senior Emily Campbell (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) led Valpo with 17 kills against CSUB, while Carlson posted a career-high 16 kills in the win. The duo tied for team-high honors with 10 kills each against Hofstra.
  • Sophomore Lizzie Zaleski (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist) set a new career best with 23 assists in the win over CSUB and led Valpo with 19 assists in the nightcap. Junior Tarrah Lasky (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) added 19 assists in the victory over the Roadrunners.
  • Senior Morganne Longoria (Burlington, Wis./Burlington) paced Valpo with 20 digs versus CSUB and 14 against Hofstra. Zaleski finished with double-doubles in each match, posting 11 and 10 digs, respectively, and Carlson added 15 digs against CSUB.

Next Up
The Crusaders (1-1) close out action at the Black Knights Invitational on Saturday as they face host Army West Point. First serve is slated for 11 a.m., with live video and live stats available via

Cronin Earns League Player of the Week Honors
Valparaiso University senior forward April Cronin (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) has been named the Horizon League Offensive Player of the Week following her hat trick in Sunday’s win over Loyola.

Cronin tied the game twice against the Ramblers, finding the back of the net in the 63rd minute to level the match at 1-1, and then recording the equalizer in the 84th minute to force extra time. The senior completed her hat trick in the 105th minute to give the Crusaders the 3-2 victory.

For Cronin, it was the first multi-goal game of her career, while it was just the fifth hat trick in Valpo women’s soccer history and the first since 2005. Combined with her assist on the match-winning goal in Friday’s victory over New Mexico State, Cronin had seven points on the weekend. The senior is now tied for third in Crusader history with 20 career goals – just one shy of second position – and is in fourth place by herself with 47 career points.