Crusaders Earn Road Sweep at Chicago State
The Valparaiso University volleyball team stepped out of Horizon League play Tuesday evening with a short trip to Chicago State, coming away with a 3-0 (25-14, 27-25, 25-16) sweep of the Cougars.
How It Happened
- The Crusaders dominated CSU offensively in the first set Tuesday night, posting 15 kills on a sparkling .560 hitting clip. Valpo never trailed in the opener and pulled away late, scoring 12 of the set’s final 16 points.
- Chicago State led 12-11 approaching the midway point of the second set, but Valpo scored five straight points to seemingly take the lead for good. Following three straight points later in the set, the Crusaders looked poised to go up 2-0 as they led 24-18.
- But the Cougars fought off all six Valpo set point chances, and in fact earned their own at 25-24 to cap a 7-0 run. A Katherine Carlson (Lake Orion, Mich./Notre Dame Prep) kill kept the set alive, and another Carlson kill gave Valpo the lead at 26-25 before a CSU attack error closed the set in the Crusaders’ favor.
- Valpo scored the first five points of the third set to quickly take control. CSU closed to within three points at multiple stages past the midway mark of the set, the latest coming at 18-15, but the Crusaders finished out the match with a 7-1 run to conclude the sweep.
Inside the Match
- Senior Jamie Lacheta (Warsaw, Ind./Warsaw) set a new career high on Tuesday, finishing the sweep with 13 kills while hitting at a robust .409 clip.
- Carlson tied Lacheta for match-high honors with 13 kills, while senior Emily Campbell (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) chipped in 10 kills.
- As a team, the Crusaders hit .327 on the attack on Tuesday – the program’s best single-match attack percentage of the season.
- Senior Tarrah Lasky (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) returned to action for the first time since Oct. 1 and handed out 16 assists.
- In a modified version of the 6-2 offense, Lasky set from the back row, while when her position rotated to the front row, she would sub out and libero Morganne Longoria (Burlington, Wis./Burlington) would pick up the role of primary setter.
- Longoria finished with 16 assists as well and also added 12 digs for her third consecutive double-double after entering last week with no career double-doubles.
- Senior Rachel Bruinsma (New Era, Mich./Western Michigan Christian) was in on four of the Crusaders’ five team blocks.
- Valparaiso has now won 44 consecutive matchups against Chicago State dating back to 1985.
The Crusaders (10-14) return to Horizon League competition at home at the ARC this weekend, hosting Wright State Friday evening at 7 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.
Howell, Pulinx Goals Propel Valpo Past Fort Wayne
The Valparaiso University men’s soccer team returned to the win column on Tuesday night in Fort Wayne, besting the Mastodons 2-0. The Crusaders have only dropped three matches all season, and each time have responded with a win or draw in their following fixture.
How It Happened
- The Crusaders got on the board in the 22nd minute, when Ramone Howell (Portmore, Jamaica / Jamaica College) scored off a corner kick by Nelson Landaverde (Santa Ana, El Salvador / Springdale (Ark.) HS [Neosho County CC]).
- Freshman Steffen Pulinx (Genk, Belgium / Onze-Lieve-Vrouwlyceum Genk) doubled the lead in the 66th minute, converted from 18 yards out on an assist by junior Jacob Keck (Topeka, Kan. / Hayden Catholic).
- The Crusaders outshot the Mastodons 19-18, placing seven shots on goal to Fort Wayne’s six.
- Nico Campbell (Kingston, Jamaica / St. George’s College) corralled six saves to notch the clean sheet.
Inside the Match
- Howell now has three goals this season, moving into a tie for second on the team with Kendan Anderson. Howell joins Anderson and Isaiah Madrid as the three Crusaders with at least three goals this season.
- Landaverde’s assist was the first of his Valpo career. He now has five points this season, one of six Crusaders with five points or more.
- Pulinx’s goal was the first of his collegiate career. In fact, it was the first shot he’s placed on goal in a Valpo uniform. Pulinx, who became the ninth Valpo player to score this season, now has three points after tallying an assist against Western Illinois on Sept. 4.
- Keck’s assist was the first of his Valpo career. He joins a group of 13 Crusaders that have notched at least one point this season.
- The six saves marked Campbell’s highest total of the season. The shutout was the 19th of his career, four away from matching the program record.
Thoughts from Head Coach Mike Avery
“I'm really happy for the guys tonight because they were able to put Saturday's loss behind them and quickly respond with a very good performance against a talented Fort Wayne team. It was another night where we mixed and matched with the lineup a bit to spread minutes around, and we had several guys step in and step up.
My only complaint was that we didn't put the game away earlier because we had several really good chances to do that, but as preparation for the final stretch of games it was a good exercise to deal with the end of game pressure that Fort Wayne dealt us. Fort Wayne has been a high flying group that scores a lot of goals, so to shut them out was a confidence booster to Nico and the rest of the defense.
Our last road trip of the season now takes us Saturday into Chicago and we are looking forward to facing UIC in an important league match. Fall break from classes this week gives us a little chance to simultaneously rest the minds and prepare for the game, and we aim to be at our best Saturday.”
The Crusaders (8-3-3) finish a stretch of four straight fixtures away from Brown Field on Saturday night at 7 p.m. at UIC. A link to live stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.
Webb leads Crusaders on Final Day at Dayton
The Valparaiso University men’s golf team concluded the Dayton Flyer Invitational in Kettering, Ohio at NCR Country Club on Tuesday with the second round of the two-day event. Senior Peter Webb (Madison, Wis. / James Madison Memorial) carded a 74, turning in the best round of the day by a Crusader.
How It Happened
- The Crusaders leapfrogged two teams in the standings on the event’s second day, finishing in 16th of 18. They finished with a 36-hole team score of 621 (+53), one stroke ahead of IUPUI and four strokes better than Horizon League foe Youngstown State.
- Webb finished the event tied for 14th overall with a 36-hole score of 149, seven strokes over par.
- Valpo’s second-best total score came from freshman Matthew McCarthy (O’Fallon, Ill. Althoff Catholic), who was competing individually and tied for 38th. He finished the two days at 153 (+11) after posting a 76 on Day 2.
- Freshman Ross Lazar (Okemos, Mich. / Okemos) made a four-stroke improvement from his first round. He finished the second day of competition with a 76 and totaled a 156 (+14) for event, tying for 54th.
- Sophomore Mitchell Wittmann (Kaukauna, Wis. / Kaukauna) made a 10-stroke improvement from the first round by carding a 76 on Day 2. He finished with a total score of 162 (+10).
- Redshirt junior Adam Barancani (Normal, Ill. / University) stroked an 82 on Tuesday, but still finished in a tie for 61st after a strong Day 1 performance. His total score of 157 was 15 strokes over par.
- Junior Zach Cutler (O'Fallon, Mo. / Timberland) turned in an 80 to finish with a total score of 165 (+23).
Inside the Rounds
- Michigan was the team winner, with Dayton finishing as the team runner-up.
- Michigan’s Ian Kim and Nick Carlson tied for first, each posting a 142. Kim won the one-hole playoff with a birdie to capture medalist honors.
- The Crusaders tied for 10th in total birdies with 15. Wittmann had four in Round 2 to lead the way.
- As a team, the Crusaders trimmed nine strokes off their Day 1 score with a 306 in Round 2.
With the conclusion of the Dayton Flyer Invitational, Valpo has completed the fall portion of the season. The Crusaders will begin their spring campaign on Monday, Feb. 20 with The Invitational at Savannah Harbor in Savannah, Ga.