Crusader Swimming Competes at Butler Invite Sunday
The Valparaiso University men’s and women’s swimming teams completed day two of a back-to-back meet weekend Sunday afternoon with respective sixth-place finishes from both teams at the Butler Invitational in Fishers, Ind. The Crusaders had several top-ten individual performances to highlight their day.
How It Happened
- For the men, freshman Peyton Stambeck (Bartlesville, Okla./Bartlesville) turned out the best finish, with an eighth-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle race, hitting the wall at 22.21.
- Sophomores Dylan Kirar (Arvada, Colo./Ralston Valley) and Bob Bretl (Wauwatosa, Wis./Marquette University H.S.) both had tenth-place finishes in their respective events. Kirar swam a 17:22.65 in the 1,650-yard freestyle and Bretl timed out at 4:56.67 in the 500-yard freestyle.
- On the women’s side, senior Emily Trimpe (New Palestine, Ind./New Palestine) took home the two best finishes from the meet. Trimpe registered a fourth-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:32.12, while she also had a seventh-place nod in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:11.06).
- Freshman Paige Wright (Surprise, Ariz./Paradise Honor) had two top-ten performances for Valpo. In the 100-yard freestyle event, the rookie earned eighth place with a time of 55.61 and she also held a time of 1:02.22 in the 100-yard backstroke to receive tenth.
- Senior Rachel Law (Wayne, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) earned a result of eighth place in the 1,650-yard freestyle race by hitting the wall at 19:02.85. The veteran already holds seventh all-time in Valpo history in the event, with an impressive time of 18:03.74, accomplished last season.
The Crusaders take on Eastern Illinois University on Saturday, Jan. 28, to finish their home slate and regular season before the Horizon League Championships next month. The meet will begin at 1 p.m. at the ARC swimming pool.
Fast Start Not Enough as Crusaders Fall to Raiders
The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team played stifling defense in the first quarter on Sunday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center, but Wright State bounced back with an even more dominant defensive effort in the second quarter on its way to a 65-52 victory over the Crusaders. Haylee Thompson (Hailey, Idaho / Wood River [Utah State]) finished with 15 points to lead Valpo in scoring for the first time this season.
How It Happened
- The Crusaders (5-15, 0-9 Horizon) limited the Raiders (15-5, 7-1 Horizon) to just six first-quarter points, allowing Valpo to hold a 10-point lead after one quarter, 16-6.
- After a free throw nine seconds into the game put the Raiders up 1-0, Valpo embarked on a 9-0 run featuring four points by Dani Franklin (Cedar Rapids, Iowa / George Washington).
- Wright State didn’t notch its first made field goal until Mackenzie Taylor swished a jumper with 4:43 left in the first quarter.
- The Crusaders held the Raiders to just 11.8 percent (2-of-17) shooting and 0-of-6 from 3-point land in the first quarter. In addition, Valpo made five of its eight shots for a shooting percentage of 62.5.
- Wright State scored the first five points of the second quarter to pull within five, before Thompson converted a layup to push the lead back to seven.
- Aside from Thompson’s layup, Valpo didn’t score for the first 5:12 of the second quarter, giving the Raiders time to battle back. The 10-point lead evaporated by the midway point of the quarter, when Chelsea Welch sunk a pair of free throws.
- Valpo totaled just four points in the second quarter, shooting 15.4 percent (2-of-13). They missed all three 3-point tries in the quarter and finished the first half 1-of-6 from beyond the arc. The Raiders held a 23-20 edge at the break after a low-scoring first 20 minutes.
- The Wright State lead fluctuated between five and seven for most of the third quarter. The Raiders eventually built the cushion to nine on a Lexi Smith jumper with three seconds to go in the period.
- Taylor connected from 3-point range 26 seconds into the fourth to allow Wright State to open up its largest lead at 42-30. The Raiders led by double figures the rest of the way.
- Franklin made a layup with 7:38 remaining to make it 44-34, but Valpo wouldn’t score again until Grace Hales made two free throws with 4:10 to go. During that stretch, Wright State went on a 14-0 run to render the remaining 4:10 academic.
Inside the Game
- The Crusaders held the Raiders to just 29.9 percent shooting and shot 38.8 percent, but Valpo was hurt by turnovers. The Crusaders committed 20 leading to 22 Wright State points, while the Raiders coughed it up just six times leading to three Valpo points.
- Thompson led the Crusaders in scoring with 15 points, one shy of a career high. She pulled down six rebounds, also one away from a career watermark.
- Thompson went 7-of-13 shooting to lead Valpo in scoring for the first time this season and finish in double figures for the second time this year and first since Nov. 21 against IU Kokomo.
- Franklin, who received a commemorative ball prior to the game to celebrate her 1,000th career point, reached double figures for the 18th time in 20 games. She finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.
- Meredith Hamlet (McBain, Mich. / McBain) has started 51 straight games to begin her Valpo career.
- Hamlet dished out a career-high seven assists, while Hannah Schaub also helped on seven Valpo baskets.
- Wright State had 17 offensive rebounds to Valpo’s eight.
- The Raiders were led by Welch, who scored 19 points, while Emily Vogelpohl contributed 17.
Thoughts from Acting Head Coach Justin Rees
- Thoughts on the Game: “Defensively, we did a nice job until the fourth quarter when it turned into a scramble mode. We forced people to take shots against us, and that was exactly what we wanted to do, but the problem is we didn’t finish those plays very well. They crushed us on the offensive glass. You have to give Wright State a lot of credit. Even though they were struggling in the half court, that didn’t slow them down. They did a great job going to the glass and getting those second chances, and that was the difference in the game.”
- On the Start: “We hit some shots early, which we hadn’t done in a while. That was a good sign for us. We shot the ball well, 5-for-8 in the first quarter, but we were hurt by the five turnovers in that quarter. It was good to see the ball go in the hole, but that’s kind of expected. Call us silly, but we still believe we’re a good shooting team, we just haven’t been able to put it together in a conference game. You go back to nonconference games, this wasn’t really an issue; we were hitting shots when we needed them. Now, we’re defending and we’re working hard for long stretches. We’ve got to finish the play.”
- On Haylee Thompson: “Haylee’s always very impactful down low, it’s just a matter of whether or not her shots are able to fall for her. Tonight, they started to fall late in the game. Her post-up ability and her ability to take blows is great. She’s one of the best as far as technique and physicality and willingness to throw her body into the lane. Her positioning alone is one of the top in the conference. Once she feels more confident about her finishing, she’s going to be a huge advantage for us coming off the bench.”
- On UIC: “UIC is sitting in their building thinking the same thing, that this is one they can get. Both teams are desperate for a win. I expect a tough matchup. UIC is always a tough team for us with their athleticism. They will come out and be aggressive. If we’re able to control our tempo and cut our turnovers down, our chances are good.
The Crusaders will attempt to collect their first win in league play when they travel to UIC (3-17, 0-9) on Saturday. The game begins at 1 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app. It can also be on heard on WVUR, 95.1 FM Valparaiso. Links to live video, audio and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.
Valpo Swimming Resumes 2016-17 Campaign Saturday
The Valparaiso University men’s and women’s swimming teams traveled to Romeoville, Ill. to take on the Flyers from Lewis University on Saturday, resuming their 2016-17 season. Senior Emily Trimpe (New Palestine, Ind./New Palestine) led the Crusaders by taking home first place in the 200-yard breaststroke event, with a time of 2:31.63.
How It Happened
- Beyond her top finish in the 200 breaststroke, Trimpe also recorded a third-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:11.15.
- Senior Rachel Law (Wayne, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) recorded two top-three results today. The veteran earned a second-place mark in the 400-yard individual medley (4:58.70) and a third-place nod in the 1,000-yard freestyle (11:14.37).
- Sophomore Casey Main (Fairview, Ohio/Fairview) tallied the Crusaders’ other second-place result, swimming a 1:02.53 in the 100-yard butterfly.
- Freshman Paige Wright (Surprise, Ariz./Paradise Honor) earned an individual third-place finish and one in a relay. The individual mark came in the 100-yard freestyle race (55.97), while the other came in the 200-yard medley relay with help from freshman Tara Lawson (Mundelein, Ill./Mundelein), freshman Erica Martins (Hartland, Wis./Lake County Lutheran) and Trimpe, who collectively swam a 1:55.97
- For the men, sophomore Bob Bretl (Wauwatosa, Wis./Marquette University H.S.) earned the best finish for Valpo with a second-place result in the 1,000-yard freestyle event, by swimming a 10:19.17. If the season ended today, the time would rank ninth all-time in Crusader history. Bretl also swam a 2:20.64 in the 200-yard breaststroke, picking up a third-place nod.
- Three freshman earned third-place finishes on Saturday as well.Peyton Stambeck (Bartlesville, Okla./Bartlesville) touched the wall third in the 200-yard freestyle (1:52.08), Brendon Johnson (Northbrook, Ill./Glenbrook North) in the 200-yard backstroke (2:08.76) and Dylan Ogle (Simpsonville, S.C./Mauldin) in the 500-yard freestyle (5:07.01).
Valpo stays in-state as its busy weekend continues on Sunday, as the Crusaders travel to Fishers for the Butler Invitational. The meet is slated to begin at 11 a.m. CT.
Crusaders Record Five First-Place Finishes at Fort Wayne
The Valparaiso University men’s and women’s track and field competed at the Fort Wayne Duals Saturday. The Crusader men defeated Butler, Detroit and IUPUI to finish the day with a perfect 3-0 record, while the women beat Butler and IUPUI. The Valpo men had four first-place finishes in field events and the women posted one top finish on the track.
How It Happened
- For the men, junior thrower Andrew Guzek took home two first-place finishes. In the weight throw, he ended with a mark of 57’7” and in shot put, he had a tally of 46’3 1/4".
- Junior pole vaulter Alexander Watson cleared the bar at 14’5 1/4" to earn first place, coming within inches of his second-place mark on the Crusader all-time best list. Watson led the Valpo trio which finished 1-2-3 in the event.
- Junior jumper Montell Hall leaped 44’3 1/4' in the triple jump to finish in first place, which landed him in the Valpo record book in fifth place in Crusader history for the event.
- The Valpo men also earned a pair of second-place showings on the track, as junior Ben Zibricky was the runner-up in the 800m run (1:57.35) and senior Max Morello crossed the line second in the 5,000m run (15:56.85).
- For the women, senior Liz Owen ran a 2:17.64 in the 800m race to earn the top spot to lead the Crusaders. Owen was just a few seconds off of her own PR in the event, which ranks second in Valpo history.
- Sophomores Nellie Bonham and Abby Jankowski earned second and third place finishes, respectively, in both the shot put and weight throw. Bonham posted throws of 39’8 3/4" in shot and a 43’11” in the weight throw. Jankowski tossed the shot 37’4”, and a 43’9” in the weight throw.
The Crusaders travel to Allendale, Mich. on Saturday, Jan. 28 for the Grand Valley State University Lints Alumni Meet.
Men’s Tennis Team Starts Season in Style
The calendar may say it’s a new year, but the narrative was a familiar one for the Valparaiso University men’s tennis team as the Crusaders opened the season on Saturday afternoon. The defending Horizon League champions went on the road and dispatched Toledo 7-0 to start the campaign on a winning note.
How It Happened
- The Crusaders did something they hope will become a season-long trend: They started strong by capturing the doubles point.
- The defending ITA Indoor National runner-up doubles duo of Jeffrey Schorsch (Perrysburg, Ohio / Perrysburg) and Charlie Emhardt (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel) picked up right where it left off with a 6-4 win over senior Stjepan Sisko and freshman Thawin Suksathaporn at No. 1 doubles.
- That cemented the doubles point as Dave Bacalla (Skokie, Ill. / Niles North) and Chad Kissell (Latrobe, Pa. / Greater Latrobe) had teamed up to down Omar Espinosa and Stephen Miller 5-2 at No. 2.
- No. 3 doubles wasn’t completed once the other results wrapped up the doubles point, but Kyle Dunn (Fond du Lac, Wis. / Fond du Lac) and Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio / Poland) were in good shape, leading Vince Anzalone and Juan Carranza 5-2.
- Schorsch, Kissell and Emhardt all won their singles matches in straight sets. Schorsch’s first set went to a tiebreaker, but he got the better of Sisko 7-6 (7-0), 6-3.
- The match was more competitive than the 7-0 final would indicate, as three singles matches took three sets to the complete.
- Dunn eked out an exciting 6-3, 3-6, 10-7 win over Reid Teatsorth at No. 4 singles.
- Bacalla won his match in come-from-behind fashion, dropping the first set 6-2 before prevailing 6-2, 6-1 to beat Omar Espinosa.
- Freshman Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) also dug himself out of a one-set hole, dropping the opener 6-4 before recording 6-1, 6-2 wins against Suksathaporn.
Inside the Match
- The Crusaders beat Toledo in more dominant fashion than they did so a year ago, after prevailing 5-2 in the 2016 matchup.
- Schorsch’s straight-sets win came against reigning Mid-American Conference Player of the Year Stjepan Sisko, who went 25-5 a year ago. Schorsch was also responsible for one of Sisko’s losses last season.
- The No. 1 doubles win allowed Schorsch and Emhardt to avenge a loss to Esponisa and Sisko last year.
- The win also held significance for Dunn, who tasted victory against the Rockets after falling to a Toledo player both in the fall and last spring.
- The Crusaders were playing in their first match of the spring, while the Rockets see their record drop to 0-3 with the defeat.
The Crusaders will face a tough test a week from now as they head to Madison, Wis. to face off with Big Ten foe Wisconsin on Saturday, Jan. 28. The first serve is slated for noon Central Time.
Crusaders Fall to DePaul in Home Opener
The Valparaiso University women’s tennis team competed in its first home match of the 2017 season on Saturday afternoon at the Courts of Northwest Indiana. Visiting DePaul came away with a 7-0 victory in the first of nine home matches on the docket for the Crusaders this season.
How It Happened
- The Blue Demons started the match by capturing the doubles point despite the Crusaders winning three games at No. 1. Keisha Clousing and Aspasia Avgeri defeated Kathleen Hebble (Sellersburg, Ind. / Silver Creek) and Paige Heuer (Munster, Ind. / Munster) 6-3, while both of Valpo’s other doubles squads lost 6-1 decisions.
- The tightest singles match of the day came at No. 6, where Randi Wind fell to Florence Abbott 6-1, 6-4.
- Yuliya Shupenia topped Kathleen Hebble at the No. 1 singles spot 6-0, 6-1.
- Heuer fell to Keisha Clousing 6-2, 6-0 at No. 2, while Meg Modesto was on the losing end of a 6-1, 6-1 match to Patricia Lancranjan at No. 3.
- Avgeri bested Dao Sysouvanh (Sun Prairie, Wis. / Sun Prairie) 6-0, 6-2, and Marina Cozac got the better of Jordan Kopfer (Eagan, Minn. / Eastview) 6-1, 6-2.
Inside the Match
- DePaul’s Yuliya Shupenia is the No. 87 ranked player in the country. The Gomel, Belarus native was named Big East Player of the Year as a sophomore and has played her way onto the all- Big East team each of the last two seasons.
- The Blue Demons were playing their first match of the season, while the Crusaders dropped to 0-2 with the defeat.
- DePaul went 14-8 overall and 6-0 in the Big East a year ago before falling to Xavier in the Big East championship match.
The Crusaders will return to action on Friday, Feb. 10 for the first of back-to-back matches in Indianapolis. They play the University of Indianapolis at 2 p.m. that day, before clashing with Dayton in a neutral site showdown on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 2 p.m.
Crusaders Fall to Norse on Friday at ARC
Valparaiso University women’s basketball player Dani Franklin (Cedar Rapids, Iowa / George Washington) continued to perform at a high level on Friday night as the junior posted her fifth double-double of the season and third in the last 13 days, but Northern Kentucky emerged victorious 70-55 at the Athletics-Recreation Center. The Crusaders struggled from beyond the arc, going 3-of-15 (20 percent) from 3-point range.
How It Happened
- The two teams exchanged baskets early as Valpo jumped ahead 2-0, 4-2 and 6-4, with Northern Kentucky (6-13, 2-5 Horizon) providing a game-tying response on each occasion.
- After Hannah Schaub (Brooklyn Park, Minn. / Burnsville) gave Valpo a 6-4 edge with 7:26 to go in the first quarter, the Crusaders didn’t score for 3:46, allowing the Norse to put together an 8-0 run.
- The Crusaders (5-14, 0-8 Horizon) whittled the lead to three when Franklin swished a triple with 3:04 to go in the first, but another scoring drought followed. Valpo wouldn’t score for the next 4:13, allowing Northern Kentucky to go up 21-11 before Franklin stopped the bleeding with a jumper 1:09 into the second.
- The lead fluctuated between six and 10 for the next five minutes, with the Norse building the edge back to 10 with 4:16 left in the second quarter after a jumper by Kasey Uetrecht. But the Crusaders delivered the final blow of the first half, embarking on a 7-0 run to trim the deficit to three before Kelley Wiegman scored on Northern Kentucky’s final possession of the half to make it 31-26.
- The momentum Valpo established late in the first half carried over to the start of the third quarter. Franklin hit a 3 with 7:20 left in the third to deadlock the game at 33.
- The Crusaders had battled back to tie it after trailing by as many as 10, but the stalemate was short-lived as Wiegman quickly responded with a 3 of her own on Northern Kentucky’s ensuing possession.
- The Norse would lead the rest of the way, building the edge back to double figures by the 7:02 mark of the fourth. They outscored the Crusaders 24-18 in the final quarter to coast to victory.
Inside the Game
- Franklin finished the game with 29 points and 10 rebounds while matching a career-high for made field goals with 12 in 23 attempts.
- Franklin climbed to 13th in Valpo history with her performance on Friday. She advanced another spot on Valpo’s all-time scoring list by passing Carrie Forsman (1992-1996).
- Meredith Hamlet (McBain, Mich. / McBain) and Schaub chipped in eight points apiece. It was Schaub’s highest total since scoring a season-high nine against Evansville on Nov. 30. She also dished out six assists.
- The Norse were led in scoring by Mikayla Terry with 21. She was joined in double figures by Rebecca Lyttle (19), Taryn Taugher (14) and Kelley Wiegman (11). Lyttle went 6-of-7 from the floor and 7-of-9 at the foul line, while making it a double-double with 10 boards.
- The Crusaders shot 35.1 percent (20-of-57) from the floor. Franklin went 3-of-6 from beyond the arc, but the rest of the team was 0-of-9.
- Amber Lindfors (Elk Grove Village, Ill. / Elk Grove) started, but was limited to 13 minutes due to a hand injury. She did manage four rebounds and two blocks while playing through pain.
Thoughts from Acting Head Coach Justin Rees
- On the First Quarter: “In the first minute or two we finally had some energy that we were looking for. We were battling back and forth. In the first three minutes the energy level was where we need it to be. We just kind of lost it at that half way point and really struggled to regain that in that quarter. We went through two long stretches without scoring. When you go six minutes in the quarter without a bucket, you’re not going to be able to dig yourself out of that hole.”
- On Shooting Struggles: “I’m really shocked by our continued struggles. We went into the season feeling we were one of the better shooting teams in the conference. We have not shot well in conference play. It’s something we’ve worked on. We’ve tried several different approaches, different drills and even psychological tactics to try to improve the shooting woes.”
- On Dani Franklin: “She was great. She did what she was supposed to do. Unfortunately, we have to do a better job of making sure our other players don’t stand there and watch when she gets the ball. We have to play with our scorers, we can’t just pass it to them and then watch.”
- On Amber Lindfors Playing Through Pain: “The injury was disappointing. It was last minute. Literally, three hours before tipoff, we find out she’s going in for x-rays. Fortunately, it’s not a serious injury. She did the best she could. She did a nice job getting a few rebounds with one hand. Once we fell behind and needed scoring, it was tough to keep her out there. Most people wouldn’t have even played with the pain she was dealing with.”
- Looking Ahead: “Wright State’s a different animal than Northern Kentucky. Northern Kentucky plays at a slower pace, Wright State speeds the game up. They run and push the tempo. They like to get more possessions and use their speed, especially on the perimeter to nullify the fact they’re small. Hopefully we can control the tempo and use our size. We have to do a better job of sticking to the game plan defensively. Our inability to rotate was rough tonight. We have to do that on Sunday. We’re going to be right where we want to be if we rotate well.”
The Crusaders will attempt to get back on track as they welcome Wright State (14-5, 6-1 Horizon) on Sunday at 5 p.m. CT in the back end of a men’s-women’s double header. The game can be seen on ESPN3, WatchESPN.com and the ESPN app with David Horak (play-by-play) and Renee’ Turpa (color commentary) on the call. The broadcast can also be heard on 95.1 FM Valparaiso, WVUR. Links to live audio, video and stats are available on ValpoAthletics.com.