Kopfer, Wind Win Matches on Final Day of Bronco Invitational
The Valparaiso University women’s tennis team received victories from Jordan Kopfer and Randi Wind on the final day of competition at the Bronco Invitational in Kalamazoo, Mich. on Sunday.
How It Happened
- Freshman Jordan Kopfer (Eagan, Minn. / Eastview) rounded out a successful weekend with a three-set victory over Green Bay’s Tallie Piaskowski in a Brown Flight consolation match. Kopfer overcame a one-set deficit after losing the opener 6-2. She turned it around with a 6-2 win in Set 2 before clinching the match by claiming a 10-5 victory in Set 3.
- Sophomore Randi Wind (Park Ridge, Ill. / Maine South) also enjoyed a winning weekend for the Crusaders, capped off by a three-set triumph over Lewis’s Megan Conlin in a Silver Flight consolation match on Sunday. Wind breezed to a 6-1 victory in the opening set, but then Conlin took the second set 6-3. Wind prevailed in the 10-point match tiebreaker 10-8.
- Senior Paige Heuer (Munster, Ind. / Munster) forced a third set against Oakland’s Samantha Galloway, but found herself on the losing end of a third-set match tiebreaker. Heuer corralled a 7-5 win in the opening set, but then Galloway rallied to win the match, taking Set 2 6-3 and Set 3 10-5.
- Junior Kathleen Hebble (Sellersburg, Ind. / Silver Creek) incurred a 6-3, 6-4 loss to Chicago State’s Mariya Kostyuk in the White Flight consolation final.
- In another White Flight consolation match, Dao Sysouvanh (Sun Prairie, Wis. / Sun Prairie) dropped a 6-4, 6-1 contest to Chicago State’s Leshia Gadacz.
- Sophomore Meg Modesto (Chesterton, Ind. / Chesterton) suffered a 6-3, 6-0 setback at the hands of Western Michigan’s Gabriela Slavova in a Brown Flight consolation match.
- In round robin singles, Halle Roach (Libertyville, Ill. / Libertyville) fell to Chicago State’s Carynne Lloyd 6-2, 6-2, while Erin Staal (Grand Haven, Mich. / Grand Haven) was on the wrong end of a 6-3, 6-3 match with Green Bay’s Noel Peck.
The final tournament of the fall season begins on Thursday, Oct. 20 as the Crusaders head to the ITA Midwest Regional, a five-day event in East Lansing, Mich.
Crusaders, Panthers Play to Draw
The Valparaiso University men’s soccer team raised its unbeaten streak to five and stayed undefeated in Horizon League play by virtue of a 1-1 draw with Milwaukee on Saturday night at Brown Field. Matthew Gweh (Apple Valley, Minn.) accounted for the lone Valpo goal, helping keep the Crusaders atop the Horizon League table in the process.
How It Happened
- In the 40th minute, Gweh ran into a long lead pass from Ramone Howell (Portmore, Jamaica / Jamaica College), then fired a shot from 20 yards out. The ball eluded charging Milwaukee goalkeeper Sam Glass.
- The Panthers equalized when Evan Conway played a long pass down the left side and beat Valpo keeper Nico Campbell inside the near post. Francesco Saporito fed Magnus Flaatedal, who booted the long pass ahead to Conway. Both Saporito and Flaatedal received assists.
- Campbell made two key saves in a one-minute span to keep the match even late in regulation. He was right there to stop a shot by Milwaukee’s Francesco Saporito in the 85th minute, then turned away Nick Moon in the 86th.
- Valpo had the only shot on goal of overtime in the 109th minute, when Howell’s attempt was saved by Glass.
Inside the Match
- Gweh’s goal was his second of the season and the eighth of his Valpo career. He is one of five Crusaders with multiple goals this season.
- Howell moved into second on the team with six points by notching his second assist of the year.
- Each team placed four shots on goal, while the Crusaders outshot the Panthers 14-10.
- The Conway goal was the first allowed by the Crusaders since Sept. 24 at Cleveland State, snapping a stretch of three straight shutouts for the team.
- Campbell and Glass accumulated three saves apiece.
- Four of the five Horizon League matches on Saturday night ended in draws, with only Wright State claiming three points in the standings. Therefore, the Crusaders remain the leaders in a tightly-contested Horizon League.
Thoughts from Head Coach Mike Avery
"We were a bit disappointed to leave a few points on the table tonight, but we also kind of got what we deserved. We weren't sharp and caused a lot of our own problems, and Milwaukee is a good team so they were able to build some momentum out of our mistakes. At the end of the day, a draw is probably a fair result.”
“The good news, though, is that the point we did earn keeps us at the top of table for at least another week. Next weekend's game in Green Bay is a big chance for us to take back some points with a road result, so we will use the Tuesday non-conference game as an opportunity to spread some minutes around and get ourselves ready for league play on Saturday. Western Michigan on Tuesday is a great challenge, and has one of the better teams on our schedule, so we will have our work cut out for us in these next few days."
The Crusaders (6-2-3, 3-0-2) hit the road for a stretch of four straight matches away from Brown Field. The road swing begins on Tuesday as the Crusaders head to Kalamazoo, Mich. to meet Western Michigan at 3 p.m. CT. A link to live stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.
Crusaders Drop One-Goal Decision at Wright State
Senior April Cronin (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) evened up the Valparaiso University women’s soccer team’s match at Wright State Saturday evening less than two minutes into the second half, but the Raiders scored with less than 15 minutes to play to claim a 2-1 win in a matchup of the league’s top two teams in the standings.
How It Happened
- Wright State struck first in the 20th minute, as Aaliyah Patten connected on her third goal of the season.
- Cronin leveled the match in the 47th minute for the Crusaders, finding the back of the net for the seventh time this year.
- But the Raiders found the match-winner in the 76th minute, as Kelsey Sedlock tallied her first goal of the season to give Wright State the win.
- The Crusaders put a pair of shots on frame in an attempt to tie the match once again, but Wright State goalkeeper Katie Ruff saved both efforts.
Inside the Match
- Cronin extended her team-high goal total to seven with the early second-half tally, matching her total from last season and tied for eighth-most in a single season in program history.
- Cronin’s 17 points are also tied for 10th in a single season all-time at Valpo.
- Valpo edged Wright State in total shots, 9-7, and put six efforts on goal to the Raiders’ four. Tess Barrett (Tinley Park, Ill./Providence Catholic) made a pair of saves in goal for the Crusaders.
Thoughts From Head Coach John Marovich
“The result is tough tonight, because we did a lot of real positive things. Unfortunately, Wright State did a few more than us to earn the result.”
“Our group did a great job of responding to the Wright State goal. We came right out of the break and got it back with some quality off our movement, creating an opportunity for April.”
“It’s great to see April back on the scoresheet, and we had several players who put in quality performances tonight – performances which should lead to continued improvement down the stretch in league action. We need to stay focused on getting as many points possible out of each match, which is what makes the Horizon League so exciting.”
The Crusaders (7-7-0, 3-2-0 Horizon) return home to Brown Field Saturday evening, Oct. 15, to host Youngstown State. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m.
Women’s Tennis Continues Bronco Invitational
Valparaiso University women’s tennis team continued competition in the Bronco Invitational at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich. on Friday. The Crusaders notched five singles wins on the day, and had three doubles victories in consolation brackets.
How It Happened
- Junior Kathleen Hebble (Sellersburg, Ind. / Silver Creek) picked up a victory in a consolation match, capturing a thrilling three-set win over Green Bay’s Olivia Headford 6-4, 2-6, 10-2.
- Paige Heuer (Munster, Ind. / Munster) punched her ticket to Sunday’s Black Flight consolation final by topping Chicago State’s Leshia Gadacz 6-3, 6-1.
- Jordan Kopfer (Eagan, Minn. / Eastview) cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Green Bay’s Jule Hermann to advance to the consolation final of the Brown Flight.
- Randi Wind (Park Ridge, Ill. / Maine South) matched Kopfer’s success, whitewashing Lewis’s Hailey Bruining 6-0, 6-0 in a Silver Flight consolation match.
- In doubles, Hebble and Heuer teamed up for a 6-3 win over Chicago State, then fell to Oakland 7-5 in the consolation final.
- Modesto and Kopfer teamed up to win in consolation doubles 6-1 over Green Bay. They also notched a 6-2 win over a different Green Bay duo.
- In round robin singles, Halle Roach (Libertyville, Ill. / Libertyville) rallied for a three-set win over Green Bay’s Maria Neff 4-6, 6-1, 1-0(4)
- Dao Sysouvanh (Sun Prairie, Wis. / Sun Prairie) notched a 7-5 win in the opening set against Oakland’s Samantha Gallowayk, but then lost the remaining sets to drop the Black Flight consolation semifinal match.
- Meg Modesto (Chesterton, Ind. / Chesterton) competed in the semifinal of the Brown Flight after earning a win on Friday, but she fell to Western Michigan’s Meika Ashby 6-0, 6-3 on Saturday.
- Morgan Paras (Indianapolis, Ind. / Bishop Fenwick) was also competing in a championship bracket match after a win on Friday. She came out on the losing end of a 6-2, 6-3 decision against Chicago State’s Lorea Gamboa.
- Erin Staal (Grand Haven, Mich. / Grand Haven) lost 6-1, 6-3 to Chicago State’s Carynne Lloyd in round robin singles.
- In consolation doubles, Wind and Sysouvanh fell 6-1 to one Western Michigan duo and 6-2 to another Bronco combination.
The Bronco Invitational will round out on Sunday in Kalamazoo, Mich. Four individuals competing in consolation finals headline the day of action for the Crusaders. Kathleen Hebble will face off with Mariya Kostyuk of Chicago State in the White Flight consolation final, while Paige Heuer will meet Oakland’s Samantha Galloway in the Black Flight consolation final. In addition, Jordan Kopfer clashes with Oakland’s Amanda Nilsson in the Brown Flight consolation final and Randi Wind meets Green Bay’s Samantha Pederson in the Silver Flight consolation final.
Crusaders Drop Heartbreaker at Wright State
The Valparaiso University volleyball team looked poised to earn a road win Saturday afternoon at Wright State after capturing the first two sets, but the Raiders rallied to deal the Crusaders a 3-2 defeat (23-25, 17-25, 25-18, 25-23, 15-11).
How It Happened
- Valpo used a 6-1 run midway through the first set to pull ahead 18-13 before the Raiders responded with five consecutive points to again tie the frame. After the teams traded three-point spurts to make it 22-22, the Crusaders scored three of the set’s final four points – capped by a kill from junior Taylor Graboski (Upper Sandusky, Ohio/Upper Sandusky) – to claim the opener.
- The second set was tied past the midway point at 15-all before the Crusaders exploded for a big run, closing on a 10-2 spurt to go ahead two sets to none. Sophomore Sydney Bronner (Frankenmuth, Mich./Frankenmuth) contributed a pair of kills and two blocks during the set-deciding run.
- Wright State scored the first six points of the third set and never trailed. The Raiders led by seven points at 18-11 before the Crusaders made a push, scoring four straight points to close to within 18-15. But after the teams traded sideouts, WSU scored five straight to take control.
- Valpo jumped out on top to start the fourth set, starting the frame on a 5-1 spurt and leading by five points at 11-6. But the Raiders scored five consecutive points to even things up.
- The back-and-forth frame saw the Crusaders up one point at 18-17 before WSU scored five straight to go ahead 22-18. The Raiders looked poised to extend the match with ease, leading 24-20, but Valpo continued to fight – a kill from Bronner, a WSU hitting error and a block by Graboski and senior Rachel Bruinsma (New Era, Mich./Western Michigan Christian) fought off three set points. But a Valpo error sent the match to the fifth set.
- Valpo led early in the fifth set, 4-2, but the Raiders scored six of the next seven points to claim the lead for good. The Crusaders closed within one point twice just past the midpoint of the set, but were unable to even up the frame as WSU closed out the match.
Inside the Match
- Playing shorthanded yet again on Saturday, the Crusaders made just one substitution the entire match.
- Sophomore Katherine Carlson (Lake Orion, Mich./Notre Dame Prep) posted a career high offensively on Saturday, finishing with a team-high 17 kills.
- Graboski and senior Emily Campbell (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) added 11 kills apiece – Graboski doing so on .321 hitting.
- Sophomore Lizzie Zaleski (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist) matched her career high on Saturday for the third time with 38 assists.
- Senior Morganne Longoria (Burlington, Wis./Burlington) paced Valpo on the back line with 25 digs, leaving her just 68 digs shy of 2,000 for her career. Campbell and Carlson both reached double figures as well, finishing with double-doubles as they posted 14 and 12 digs, respectively.
- The Crusaders reached double digits in blocks for the sixth time this year, recording 13 rejections. Bronner and Graboski tied for team-high honors with six blocks, while Bruinsma was in on five blocks.
The Crusaders (8-13, 1-5 Horizon) close out their four-match road trip with a midweek contest at Oakland on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. CT. 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.
Football Falls to Drake
The Valparaiso University football team suffered its first home loss of the year on Saturday, falling to Drake 35-21. Joey Diaz-Martinez (Miramar, Fla. / Miramar) had the first interception return for a touchdown of his college career, while Frank Catrine (Springboro, Ohio / Bishop Fenwick) enjoyed his most prosperous receiving performance of the season.
How It Happened
- Drake accounted for the first two scores of the game. The first came with 5:22 remaining in the first quarter, when tight end Eric Saubert hauled in a 3-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Grant Kraemer. Then, running back Conley Wilkins heaved it to Zach Zlabis for an 18-yard TD on the first play of the second quarter.
- After struggling in goal line offensive situations a week ago, the Crusaders cracked the scoreboard when Ryan Clarke (Hopatcong, N.J. / Hopatcong) plunged into the end zone from 1 yard out. The play capped an 11-play, 71-yard drive that spanned 6:09.
- The Bulldogs quickly responded as they marched 67 yards in 2:58, a scoring drive that culminated with a 19-yard TD catch by Keegan Gallery on a pass from Kraemer.
- Diaz-Martinez made his second interception of the season with 4:00 left in the first half, picking off a Kraemer pass and returning it 49 yards for a TD.
- Once again, the Bulldogs had a response. Saubert was on the receiving end of a 6-yard TD pass from Kraemer with 2:25 left in the first half.
- The Crusaders attempted a 34-yard field goal on the final play of the first half, but Jake Simpson’s try was blocked.
- The first Valpo drive of the second half resulted in a 14-yard TD snag by Catrine on a pass from Jimmy Seewald (Livonia, Mich. / Divine Child) to trim Drake’s lead to 28-21 with 8:19 left in the third.
- Valpo went for it on fourth-and-1 from the Drake 32 with 14:04 left, but Seewald was stopped for no gain and a turnover on downs. The Crusaders had another opportunity when they took over with 5:18 left in the fourth trialing by a touchdown, but Seewald threw an interception to Jabari Butler on the first play of the drive, giving Drake possession on the Valpo 49.
- Drake pulled away with 1:12 remaining when Wilkins punched it into the end zone from 8 yards out to make it 35-21.
Inside the Game
- The Crusaders racked up five fourth-down conversions, tying a single-game high in all of FCS football this season. However, they were less efficient on third down, going 3-for-13. The Bulldogs racked up 13 third-down conversions in 16 tries.
- Drew Snouffer (Columbus, Ohio / Upper Arlington) made 14 tackles, besting his previous career high of 13 that was set against Sacred Heart earlier this season. Five of Snouffer’s tackles were solos, and he received credit for ½ sack.
- Kellan Hughes (Cicero, Ind. / Hamilton Heights) set a new career high with 12 tackles, while Kye Hall (New Smyrna Beach, Fla. / New Smyrna) matched his career best with 10.
- Diaz-Martinez’s interception was his second of the season and the fifth of his Valpo career. It was also the longest interception return and first pick six of his career. It was the team’s second interception return for a touchdown this season, the first coming by Hughes in the season opener against Illinois State.
- The Seewald-to-Catrine TD hookup was Catrine’s third reception of the season, and Seewald’s eighth TD pass of the year in limited duty.
- Seewald, who took over after Clarke left with an ankle injury, went 15-of-27 through the air for 113 yards. Clarke completed eight of his 11 pass attempts for 68 yards.
- After three consecutive 100-yard rushing performances, Jarrett Morgan (Cooper City, Fla. / Cooper City) was limited to 66 yards on 15 carries.
- Valpo was outgained on the ground 239-93 by a Drake team that amassed 493 yards of total offense.
- Catrine made eight catches, marking a season high and finishing one shy of a career watermark.
Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Cecchini
“Physically, they beat us up. It’s encouraging if you compare this game in terms of physicality to where we were a year ago against Drake. It’s night and day. We hung in there and fought for 60 minutes. We’re much more physical than we were a year ago, but we’re not where we need to be yet. I’m proud of the way we fought, but disappointed we didn’t win enough of those one-on-one matchups. Drake is big and physical. That’s one big reason why we aren’t winning these games.”
The Crusaders (2-4, 1-2 PFL) hit the road next week as they head to DeLand, Fla. to clash with Stetson (3-2, 1-1 PFL). The game is scheduled to kick off at noon CT and can be heard on WVUR (95.1 FM Valparaiso). Links for the live audio and stats will be available via ValpoAthletics.com.
Shorthanded Crusaders Fall at Northern Kentucky
The Valparaiso University volleyball team, still playing without a number of regulars up front, fell Friday night in Horizon League play, 3-0 (25-12, 25-22, 25-18), at Northern Kentucky as it continued a four-match stretch away from home.
How It Happened
- Northern Kentucky jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the opening set and never looked back in claiming the opener.
- Trailing 17-13 past the midway point of the second set, the Crusaders scored five of the next six points to even the frame at 18-18. But after each team scored two points in a row, Northern Kentucky ended the set by scoring five of the last seven points to take the 2-0 lead.
- NKU led 10-3 early in the third set, and while the Crusaders tried to string together points, they were unable to get any closer than six points the rest of the way.
Inside the Match
- Sophomore Katherine Carlson (Lake Orion, Mich./Notre Dame Prep) tallied nine kills on .250 hitting to lead the Crusaders on Friday.
- Sophomore Lizzie Zaleski (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist) handed out 20 assists.
- Senior Morganne Longoria (Burlington, Wis./Burlington) paced Valpo in the back row with 11 digs, while up front defensively, junior Taylor Graboski (Upper Sandusky, Ohio/Upper Sandusky) led the way with four blocks.
- Valpo was again without the services of Allison Ketcham, Jamie Lacheta, Kayla Currier and Tarrah Lasky due to injury. After having only played in one match since Sept. 9, senior Emily Campbell (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) played the final two sets on Friday.
The Crusaders (8-12, 1-4 Horizon) close out weekend action Saturday afternoon at Wright State. First serve is slated for 3 p.m. CT, and the match can be seen live on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app. Links for the live video, as well as live stats, will be available via ValpoAthletics.com.
Modesto, Paras Grab Singles Wins at Bronco Invite
Valparaiso University women’s tennis team competed in Day 1 of the Bronco Invitational at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich. on Friday. The Crusaders enjoyed three wins on the day, two in singles and one in doubles.
How It Happened
- Sophomore Meg Modesto (Chesterton, Ind. / Chesterton) earned her first win of the season, getting the better of Green Bay’s Tallie Piaskowski in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2. Modesto advances to the second round of the Brown Flight.
- Senior Morgan Paras (Indianapolis, Ind. / Bishop Chatard) moved into a three-way tie for the team lead with her second singles win of the young campaign. She topped Lewis’s Megan Conlin 6-2, 6-3 in the Silver Flight.
- The first two rounds of doubles competition took place on Friday. Sophomore Randi Wind (Park Ridge, Ill. / Maine South) and freshman Dao Sysouvanh (Sun Prairie, Wis. / Sun Prairie) notched their first win as a doubles pair, beating Green Bay’s Samm Pedersen and Chiara Berg 6-2 in the first round.
- Wind and Sysouvanh then competed in the second round of the doubles bracket and suffered a 6-3 setback to Western Michigan’s Denise Azcui and Katja Fevralev.
- Freshman Jordan Kopfer (Eagan, Minn. / Eastview) came out of the gate in favorable fashion with a 6-0 win in Set 1, but then dropped the remaining sets 6-2, 10-5.
- Junior Kathleen Hebble (Sellersburg, Ind. / Silver Creek) was on the losing end of a 6-1, 6-3 singles match with Oakland’s Daria Artamonova.
- Senior Paige Heuer (Munster, Ind. / Munster) fell to IUPUI’s Sara Sherif 6-1, 6-2.
- Sysouvanh ran into Fevralev in the first round of the Black Flight. Sysouvanh lost 6-0 in Set 1, then kept it tight in a 7-5 defeat in Set 2.
- Wind dropped her singles match to Green Bay’s Theresa Tebon 6-2, 6-4 in the Silver Flight.
- Valpo’s other doubles tandem was Modesto and Kopfer, who lost 6-1 to Western Michigan’s Tracy Kuhle and Melina Lyubomirova in the first round. Modesto and Kopfer also lost in the doubles consolation bracket to Artamonova and Alexandra Whall of Oakland.
- In round robin singles, junior Erin Staal (Grand Haven, Mich. / Grand Haven) was defeated by Green Bay’s Maria Neff 6-0, 6-3.
- The host Broncos dominated the day, going a perfect 16-0 on the invitational’s initial day.
The Bronco Invite continues on Saturday with another full day of competition. Two Crusaders will try to remain in the championship bracket as Meg Modesto faces Western Michigan’s Meika Ashby and Morgan Paras clashes with Chicago State’s Lorea Gamboa. A number of other Valpo players will compete in consolation brackets.