Wirtz Earns MVP Honors on Final Day of Crusader Challenge
Bowling in her first tournament as a Crusader, Valparaiso University fifth-year senior Olivia Wirtz (Battle Creek, Mich./Harper Creek [Vanderbilt]) was named Tournament MVP on Sunday as Valpo finished in third place on the second of two days of competition in the Crusader Challenge at Inman’s.
How It Happened
- Valpo opened Sunday’s action, contested in the traditional team format, against #25 Elmhurst and earned an opening 946-907 victory. Senior Alyssa Meade (Chesterfield, Mich./L’Anse Creuse North) led the Crusaders in the opener with a 206 game, while fellow senior Marianna Guerrieri (Aurora, Ill./Waubonsie Valley) rolled a 201.
- The Crusaders’ top match of the tournament came in their second contest of the day, as they easily downed #9 UW-Whitewater, 983-868. Wirtz rolled a game of 245 to lead the way – Valpo’s best individual game of the day – while Meade and sophomore Kendra Tryniski (Fulton, N.Y./Fulton) each posted scores of 208.
- Valpo continued the win streak with a 918-858 win over Maryville in its next match, as senior Lauren Wolski (Darien, Ill./Hinsdale South) rolled a 213 and Wirtz registered a 204.
- A tight match against #5 McKendree went against the Crusaders, as they fell by a 914-903 final.
- Wirtz broke 200 for the third time on the day with a 206 in the tournament finale, pacing the Crusaders as they defeated Aurora 893-765.
Inside the Tournament
- Wirtz recorded a 199.4 average in Sunday’s five individual games, edging out Elmhurst’s Marissa Soverino for tournament MVP honors. The graduate student was the sixth tournament MVP in program history and the first since Katherine Sulaitis picked up top honors at last season’s Virginia Union Invitational.
- Also earning spots on the All-Tournament Team were UW-Whitewater’s Taylor Hoppe and McKendree’s Jessica Mellott and Ashley Dunn. Meade missed out on All-Tournament honors by just four pins.
- Valpo posted a 4-1 record on Sunday and finished the day in third place out of the six competing teams, just 38 pins back of UW-Whitewater.
- McKendree earned the team tournament title as it topped the tournament field both days.
Thoughts From Head Coach Shon Washington
“It was another positive day for the team, finishing third on day two and close behind UW-Whitewater for second place. The moment of the day occurred during the fourth game against McKendree. We had a strong 10th frame from all five members of our lineup, which was almost enough for the win and a possible undefeated day, but McKendree’s anchor rolled a clutch strike and spare to put the game away by 11 pins.”
“Congratulations to Olivia on making the All-Tournament Team and winning tournament MVP – she had a very strong tournament. Alyssa had a very good day as well, falling just short of joining Olivia on the All-Tournament Team.”
The Crusaders (7-3) head to the FDU New Jersey Jamboree in Elmwood Park, N.J. next weekend. The three-day event begins on Friday, Oct. 28.
Emhardt, Schorsch Secure Return Trip to ITA Midwest Regional Final Match
For the second consecutive year, Valparaiso University men’s tennis players Jeffrey Schorsch (Perrysburg, Ohio / Perrysburg) and Charlie Emhardt (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel) have earned a spot in the final match of the ITA Midwest Regionals doubles tournament. The duo picked up two memorable wins on Sunday in Columbus, Ohio.
How It Happened
- Schorsch and Emhardt clinched a return trip to the finals by beating Notre Dame’s Matt Gamble and Alex Lebedev in a three-set thriller. Emhardt and Schorsch captured the first set 6-4, then Gamble and Lebedev fended off a rally from the Valpo duo to take the second set 7-6. That set up a match-tiebreak, won 10-8 by the Crusaders.
- The senior pair toppled Wisconsin’s Lamar Remy and Chase Colton 8-7 earlier Sunday to reach the semifinals.
- Dave Bacalla (Skokie, Ill. / Niles North) and Chad Kissell (Latrobe, Pa. / Greater Latrobe), the No. 12 seed, saw their ITA run halt after three consecutive victories. They fell to Gamble and Labedev 8-7 on Sunday. Their weekend was a successful one, highlighted by a win over a No. 7 seeded Michigan team on Saturday.
- Kyle Dunn (Fond du Lac, Wis. / Fond du Lac) and Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio / Poland) also lost in the quarterfinals, ending a strong weekend that featured an upset of an eighth-seeded Northwestern duo on Saturday. Dunn and Gardner, who were not ranked among the top 16 in the event, fell to Notre Dame seniors Josh Hagar and Eddy Covalschi 8-7 on Sunday. The effort to force a tiebreaker, which was won 10-8 by the Fighting Irish, was an impressive one against the event’s top-ranked duo.
Inside the Invite
- Emhardt and Schorsch are back in the finals of the ITA Midwest Regional for the second consecutive season. They pulled two upsets a year ago to get to that point, but eventually saw their run come to an end against Notre Dame’s Alex Lawson and Quentin Monaghan in the final.
- With their 4-0 start to the ITA Midwest Regional, Emhardt and Schorsch remain first and second in Valpo’s record book for doubles victories. Emhardt is up to 92 in his career, while Schorsch stands at 88. They are both well ahead of Nick Vuko, whose 62 doubles wins from 1998-2002 marked the school record before the Schorsch-Emhardt era.
- Gamble and Labedev were seeded 11th in the doubles draw, while Emhardt and Schorsch started the event as favorites to reach the final as the No. 2 seed. The Wisconsin combo of Remy and Colton was seeded 15th.
- Covalschi and Hagar, the top-seeded doubles team in the event, were upset by No. 4 seeded Jathan Malik and Kevin Wong of Michigan in Saturday’s semifinal, leaving Emhardt and Schorsch as the favorite on Monday.
- Malik and Wong, both seniors, tied for Michigan’s team lead with 18 doubles wins a season ago.
The winner of Monday’s doubles championship between Schorsch-Emhardt and Malik-Wong will receive automatic entry into the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, the culmination of the fall season that features the top 20 doubles teams in the nation. That event will take place from Nov. 3-6 in Flushing, N.Y.
Crusaders Incur League Loss at UIC
The Valparaiso University men’s soccer team suffered a 1-0 setback at UIC on Saturday night. UIC’s Jose Fuentes scored in the 62nd minute to account for the difference in a fast-paced match at Flames Field.
How It Happened
- Fuentes shot to the low far side of the goal after a pass from the right side by Oscar Rivero, who notched the assist.
- The Crusaders placed five shots on goal, four of those coming before halftime.
- The Flames outshot the Crusaders 22-17. UIC accumulated four shots on goal.
- Nico Campbell (Kingston, Jamaica / St. George’s College) corralled three saves in the defeat.
- UIC goalkeeper Andrew Putna held off the Crusaders to preserve the clean sheet. The shutout was his fifth of the year and his conference GAA shrinks to 0.48.
Inside the Match
- The goal was Fuentes’ fifth of the season. He ranks second on the team behind Max Todd, who has six. Rivero now has two assists and six points this year.
- All nine meetings between the two teams since Valpo joined the Horizon League have been decided by one goal or tied.
- This marked just the third time the Crusaders have been shutout this season. The first time Valpo was held scoreless was a draw with SIU Edwardsville on Aug. 29. The other two have come in the last three matches.
- The Crusaders racked up 17 shots, their most in a league match since the Horizon Leauge opener against Detroit on Sept. 10. Conversely, they allowed 22 shots, the most by a Horizon League squad against Valpo this year. The Flames have totaled 20-plus shots on four occasions this season.
Thoughts from Head Coach Mike Avery
“It was a very exciting game, fast paced and with two teams really fighting and scrapping for a result. Hats off to UIC for defending their home field. They took their chance very well on the goal, and though we pushed right to the end, we weren't able to find the equalizer. I was proud of our effort and our will to compete.
Including our two exhibition games in August, we've now played twelve out of seventeen matches on the road. That takes its toll. This is the first week in a month where we don't have a midweek game, and the guys need these few days to rest and recover.
We also end with three home games and it will be nice to develop a little consistency and rhythm to our training and preparation.
The game next weekend is massive for us. A win next weekend goes a long way to wrapping up a playoff spot, so I am sure the group will be focused this week and won't take anything for granted because we know every Horizon League game is a battle.”
The Crusaders (8-4-3, 3-2-2) enjoy a few days away from game action before returning to the pitch on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. against Northern Kentucky. After four straight road fixtures, the Crusaders will return to the Brown Field turf for the Horizon League showdown with the Norse. Links to live video, audio and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.
Crusader Women Fall in Home Regular Season Finale
The Valparaiso University women’s soccer team finished out the 2016 regular season home schedule at Brown Field on Saturday night, but it would be an unhappy finale, as an own goal late in the first half was the game’s lone tally in a 1-0 Oakland win over the Crusaders.
How It Happened
- The Crusaders controlled a good bit of play in the first half, but could not connect in the attacking third, as both sides struggled for shot opportunities.
- The game’s lone goal came in the 36th minute, as a failed clearance by a Valpo defender resulted in an own goal for a 1-0 Oakland lead.
- Valpo goalkeeper Tess Barrett (Tinley Park, Ill./Providence Catholic) made a pair of nice saves on Emma Voelker among her three stops, including a leap in the 43rd minute to knock a shot over the crossbar.
- The Crusaders had a number of set pieces in the attacking half following fouls in the second half and also earned three corner kicks, but were unable to find the equalizer.
Inside the Match
- The two sides combined for just eight shot attempts on Saturday, as the Golden Grizzlies owned a narrow 5-3 advantage in the category.
- Barrett has now surrendered one goal or fewer in six of her seven starts in Horizon League play.
- 10 of Valpo’s last 11 matches have been decided by just one goal.
- The Crusaders find themselves in a three-way tie for fifth place entering the final match of the regular season. Valpo is tied with Oakland and UIC, with the Crusaders holding the tiebreaker over the Flames.
Thoughts From Head Coach John Marovich
“I thought our first 45 minutes were good – thought our attitude was right and felt like our intensity was good. Our midfield did a great job in the first half, and we were able to get the ball into the attacking third. But unfortunately, we weren’t able to convert on any of our dangerous opportunities.”
“One mistake in the back, and we created a problem for ourselves with an own goal, forcing us to chase the game. I felt like our attitude was still good after the goal, however – we continued to play with the right mindset as we looked to get it back.”
“Especially in Horizon League play, when you find yourself down a goal in the second half, it’s very difficult to try to get that equalizer when the team in the lead is trying to kill the game off. It’s a tough situation, and we weren’t able to overcome it tonight. Now we have to work toward next weekend’s match, and the positive news heading into that match is our fate is in our own hands.”
The Crusaders (8-9-0, 4-4-0 Horizon) close out the regular season Friday evening at Northern Kentucky for a 6 p.m. kickoff. A victory over the Norse would guarantee Valpo a spot in the Horizon League Championship. Links for live coverage will be available via ValpoAthletics.com.
Swim Teams Compete at Indiana Intercollegiates Saturday
The Valparaiso University men’s and women’s swimming teams competed in the Indiana Intercollegiates Saturday at Purdue University in the Boilermaker Aquatic Center. Both squads finished in seventh place, as the men earned 90 points and the women received 67 to finish out the day. Each team picked up top-five place finishes in the 200 freestyle relay.
How It Happened
- For the men, the young team of freshman Peyton Stambeck (Bartlesvilles, Okla./Bartlesville), sophomore Mac Sogandares (Reston, Va./South Lakes), sophomore Colten Lawson (West Bend, Wis./West Bend East) and freshman Harrison Jenny (New Albany, Ohio, New Albany) garnered a third-place finish in the 200 free relay with a time of 1:28.67, surpassing all but two times from the season-best list from a year ago.
- Stambeck also registered a top-ten finish in the 100 butterfly. The time of 54.04 pushed the rookie to receive an eighth-place spot.
- Freshman Dylan Ogle (Simpsonville, S.C./ Mauldin) swam a 4:54.49 in the 500 freestyle to place tenth for the Crusaders.
- On the women’s side, the group of Emily Trimpe (New Palestine, Ind./New Palestine), Amanda Jenny (New Albany, Ohio/ New Albany), Erica Martins (Hartland, Wis./ Lake County Lutheran) and Paige Wright (Surprise, Ariz./Paradise Honor) finished fourth in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:42.63 – better than all but one time from last season.
- The Crusaders tabbed a tenth-place finish in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:55.87 swam by Wright, Emily Baumgartner (Fishers, Ind./Fishers), Martins and Trimpe.
- Wright just missed entering the Valpo all-time top-ten in the 100 freestyle with her time of 54.92.
Valparaiso takes a week off from competition and visits Eastern Illinois on Saturday, Oct. 29. The meet is slated to begin at 1 p.m.
Volleyball Takes Loss Against NKU Saturday
Coming off a hard-fought win on Friday night, the Valparaiso University volleyball team was unable to slow down Northern Kentucky on Saturday, as the Crusaders fell to the Norse by a 3-0 (25-21, 25-15, 25-19) final at the ARC.
How It Happened
- The Norse jumped out to a quick 8-1 lead in the opening set and pushed its lead to double figures at 14-4. Trailing 16-7, the Crusaders reeled off six straight points to get back into the set and would close within three points on multiple other occasions, but NKU would eventually claim the opener.
- Valpo led early in the second set before the Norse went on an 8-1 run to go ahead 11-5 en route to heading into the in-game break up two sets.
- Tied 10-10 in the third set, NKU went on a four-point spurt to gain separation and the Crusaders were unable to get any closer than three the rest of the way.
Inside the Match
- The Crusaders continued to utilize libero Morganne Longoria (Burlington, Wis./Burlington) as the primary setter on Saturday, and the senior finished with team highs of 13 digs and 14 assists.
- Senior Emily Campbell (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) tallied a team-best 11 kills to go with nine digs and six assists, while sophomore Katherine Carlson (Lake Orion, Mich./Notre Dame Prep) hit .240 with 10 kills and six digs.
- Senior Lexie Bouza (Elgin, Ill./Burlington Central) chipped in nine digs on the back line as well.
- Valpo and NKU each had the same number of attacks (120) and hitting errors (17) on Saturday, but the Norse posted 13 more kills (46-33), out-hitting the Crusaders .242-.133.
The Crusaders (11-15, 3-7 Horizon) step out of league play for the final time this season on Tuesday as they travel to take on Fort Wayne at 6 p.m. CT. Links for the live video and live stats will be available via ValpoAthletics.com.
Valpo Bowling Opens Up 2016-17 Season
The #21 Valparaiso University bowling team kicked off the 2016-17 campaign on Saturday by hosting the first of two days of action at the Crusader Challenge, hosted by Valpo at Inman’s. The Crusaders posted a 3-2 record on the first day of competition.
How It Happened
- The Crusaders opened Saturday’s action, contested in the five-game baker format, against the top-ranked team in the field - #5 McKendree. Valpo fell to the Bearcats by a 949-873 final.
- Valpo rebounded with an 808-681 win in its next match against Maryville, but then dropped an 845-764 decision to Aurora.
- The Crusaders took down #9 UW-Whitewater in the next match, coming up victors by a final of 908-858, and then closed the first day of competition with a 922-863 victory over #25 Elmhurst.
- Valpo ended the day with a pin count of 4,275 pins through the five matches, good for third place in the six-team field. McKendree sits atop the team standings with 4,595 pins.
- Head coach Shon Washington led the Crusaders for the first time since the close of the 2010-11 season.
Thoughts From HeadCoach Shon Washington
“The first competition of the season is always an exciting time – it can, however, lead to a few nervous shots early on. Our 3-2 record for the day mirrored our execution and is where I would have expected us to be after day one.”
“Overall, I was very impressed with the determination and fight in this team. We had two standout performances from senior Lauren Wolski and freshman Becky Lohse. Both were very consistent throughout the day, giving the team some much-needed support in key situations.”
Valpo concludes hosting of the Crusader Challenge on Sunday with five traditional team matches. Action from Inman’s is slated to begin at 8:15 a.m.
Three Valpo Doubles Duos Advance to Quarterfinals
The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team enjoyed another successful showing at the ITA Midwest Regional in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday. All three individuals competing in main draw singles won their first matches on Saturday, while three Valpo doubles tandems punched their ticket to Sunday’s quarterfinals.
How It Happened
- Senior Charlie Emhardt (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel) started his Saturday in style, winning a morning match against Ohio State’s Martin Joyce in convincing fashion, 6-0, 6-4 in second-round main draw singles.
- Senior Dave Bacalla (Skokie, Ill. / Niles North) eked out a win over Marquette’s Luke Smrek 6-4, 6-4 to advance to the third round.
- Senior Jeffrey Schorsch (Perrysburg, Ohio / Perrysburg), Valpo’s school record holder for career singles wins, also rolled to victory, topping Wisconsin’s John Zordani 6-2, 6-2 in the Round of 32.
- Schorsch and Emhardt enjoyed a doubles Round 2 win, besting Ohio State’s Kyle Seelig and Alex Kobelt 8-4. Then, the Crusaders’ top doubles combo nipped Western Michigan’s Maik Steiner and Jannik Opitz 8-6 to advance to the quarterfinals.
- Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio / Poland) and Kyle Dunn (Fond du Lac, Wis. / Fond du Lac) cruised to an 8-2 victory over Western Michigan’s Billy Heckman and Nick Schnobel, punching their ticket to the quarterfinals in the process.
- Chad Kissell and Bacalla collected an 8-5 victory over Illinois State’s Christoffer Greve and Dylan Steffens in second-round doubles play. Then, Kissell and Bacalla vaulted into the quarterfinals with a thrilling 8-7 win over Michigan’s Myles Schalet and Runhao Hua.
- Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) and Daniel Langston (Ponca City, Okla. / Ponca City) prevailed against Youngstown State’s Joao Garreto and Yossi Dahan 8-4. Ancona and Langston then fell to Wisconsin’s Lamar Remy and Chase Colton by the tight score of 8-6.
- In the third round of singles play, Emhardt fell to Notre Dame’s Alex Labedev 6-1, 6-4.
- Bacalla also dropped his third-round match, succumbing to Ohio State’s Herkko Pollanen 6-4, 6-4.
- Schorsch lost a tight first set to Wisconsin’s Josef Dodrige 7-6, then dropped Set 2 6-2.
The Crusaders account for three of the eight doubles teams in Sunday’s quarterfinals. Dunn and Gardner will play Notre Dame’s Eddy Covalschi and Josh Hager, Kissell and Bacalla will meet Notre Dame’s Matt Gamble and Alex Labedev and Emhardt and Schorsch will clash with Lamar Remy and Chase Colton of Wisconsin.
Crusaders Fall to First-Place Toreros
The Valparaiso University football team visited San Diego on Saturday for a matchup with the top team in the Pioneer Football League, and the Toreros showed why they’re unblemished in league play with a 49-10 victory over the Crusaders. The win extended San Diego’s streak to 26 straight home PFL victories spanning six seasons.
How It Happened
- After forcing a three-and-out on San Diego’s opening drive, the Crusaders found the scoreboard first when Dimitrios Latsonas (Westmont, Ill. / Westmont) converted a 31-yard field goal.
- However, San Diego scored 49 unanswered points before the Crusaders found the end zone with 9:35 remaining. Jimmy Seewald (Livonia, Mich. / Divine Child) shoveled an underhand pass to Kyle Cartales (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. / Cardinal Newman), who booked across the goal line for a 5-yard touchdown.
- Field position played a significant role in the first half, as the Crusaders trailed 28-3 at the break despite recording more first downs (9) than the Toreros (7) in the opening half.
- San Diego’s first TD came on a 6-yard TD run by Jonah Hodges, a drive that started in Valpo territory after a 52-yard kickoff return by Jacob Arnell.
- Special teams hurt the Crusaders again with 2:08 left in the first quarter, when Jamal Agnew broke free for a 63-yard punt return for a TD.
- A failed fake punt by the Crusaders gave the Toreros favorable field position again early in the second quarter. San Diego took full advantage of the opportunity when quarterback Anthony Lawrence hit Justin Priest for a 12-yard score.
- San Diego’s first long drive of the day against the Valpo defense came just before halftime. The Toreros marched 89 yards on 10 plays, a drive capped by Lawrence’s 5-yard connection with Jacob Arnell to make it 28-3.
- Lawrence added three more TD passes in the second half to finish with five for the game. He totaled 301 yards passing on 22-of-32.
Inside the Game
- Seewald and junior Ryan Clarke (Hopatcong, N.J. / Hopatcong) split time at quarterback. Seewald went 14-of-26 for 200 yards, while Clarke completed 8 of 22 passes for 58 yards.
- The field goal by Latsonas was the first of his collegiate career. Latsonas, who normally handles exclusively kickoffs, filled in for injured field goal kicker Jake Simpson for the second straight week.
- The run defense was a bright spot, as the Crusaders kept Jonah Hodges in check. The PFL’s leading rusher (113.5 yards per game) totaled just 34 yards on 12 carries. As a team, the Toreros rushed for just 83 yards.
- The TD snag by Cartales was the first score – rushing or receiving – of his collegiate career. It also marked Seewald’s 10th TD pass this season.
- For the second time this year, Valpo did not commit a turnover.
- The Crusaders were limited to 4-of-15 on third down and 0-of-3 on fourth down.
- Sophomore Ryan Moore (St. Lauderdale, Fla. / Westminster Academy) led the Crusaders in receiving yards with a career-high 66 on three receptions.
- Junior Kye Hall (New Smyrna Beach, Fla. / New Smyrna) paced the Valpo defense with eight tackles.
- Sophomore Christian Campbell (South Bend, Ind. / Washington) intercepted a long pass by Lawrence in the final minute of the first half. It was his second pick of the season. It was the third interception of his career as he became the fourth Valpo player with multiple interceptions this year.
The Crusaders (3-5, 2-3 PFL) return home next week after back-to-back weeks away from Brown Field. They host rival Butler (3-5, 1-4) on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 1 p.m. in the annual Battle for the Hoosier Helmet. The game can be seen on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app. Links to the video stream as well as live audio and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.
Valpo Swimming Continues Season Friday Versus Evansville
The Valparaiso University men’s and women’s swimming squads continued their 2016-17 seasons Friday at the ARC pool as they hosted Evansville. The Crusaders fell to the Purple Aces 131-74 on the men’s side and 152-33 on the women’s side. Senior Emily Trimpe (New Palestine, Ind./New Palestine) accomplished a tremendous feat on Friday, swimming in each of the meet’s nine individual events.
How It Happened
- On the men’s side, freshman Peyton Stambeck (Bartlesville, Okla./Bartlesville) earned a victory for the Crusaders, coming out victorious in the 100 free with a time of 48.22 seconds – less than a half-second outside the Crusaders’ all-time top-10.
- Stambeck also registered a second-place showing in the 50 free with a time of 22.42 seconds.
- In all, seven different Valpo swimmers earned second-place finishes against the Purple Aces.
- Sophomore Mac Sogandares (Reston, Va./South Lakes) touched the wall in second place in the 1000 free with a time of 10:17.48, ninth-best in Valpo history.
- Freshman Dylan Ogle (Simpsonville, S.C./Mauldin), who already recorded a time among Valpo’s all-time best in the 200 fly, moved into ninth in program history in the 100 fly on Friday with a time of 53.18 seconds.
- The Valpo men placed second in both the 400 medley relay (3:39.38) and the 400 free relay (3:16.08).
- On the women’s side, the Crusaders earned a second-place finish in the 400 free relay (3:47.67) and placed third in the 400 medley relay (4:11.94).
- Trimpe competed in all nine of the individual events on the women’s side – scoring in the maximum three events and swimming as an exhibition entrant in the other six. Her top finish was a third-place showing in the 1000 free, touching the wall in 11:20.11.
- Freshman Paige Wright (Surprise, Ariz./Paradise Honor) earned a third-place finish as well for the Crusader women with a time of 55.59 seconds in the 100 free.
The Crusaders turn around for a quick return to the pool, as they travel down to West Lafayette for the Indiana Intercollegiates on Saturday – set for an 11 a.m. CT start.
Crusaders Prevail In Defensive Standoff With Wright State
In a match featuring more total attacks and digs than any other this season in NCAA Division I volleyball, the Valparaiso University volleyball team came out on the right end of the defensive battle with Wright State in Horizon League play Friday evening at the ARC, downing the Raiders by a 3-2 (21-25, 25-22, 25-21, 23-25, 15-11) final. Sophomore Katherine Carlson (Lake Orion, Mich./Notre Dame Prep) finished with the first triple-double by a Crusader player since 2010, while senior Emily Campbell (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) set a new program record for attacks in a single match.
Inside the Match
- Carlson tied for match-high honors with 22 kills on .269 hitting, while also recording 28 digs and 10 assists. All three marks set new career highs for the sophomore, who became the first Valpo player since Jenny Pokorny – also against Wright State, on Oct. 16, 2010 – to pick up a triple-double (11 kills, 36 assists, 10 digs). Carlson set a new career high with 67 attacks as well.
- Campbell matched Carlson with 22 kills on Friday and shouldered the highest percentage of the offensive load, taking 79 swings. The 79 attacks set a new Valpo single-match record, which Campbell shared previously with Kathy Harrison at 77.
- Senior Morganne Longoria (Burlington, Wis./Burlington) – who continued to fill a dual role as libero and setter – set a new career best with 36 digs, easily surpassing her previous high of 30 digs. Longoria’s 36 digs tied for the fifth-most in a five-set match in program history.
- As a team, the Crusaders totaled 270 attacks Friday night, the most by any Division I team in a single match in at least the last three years. The 270 swings were easily a program high in the rally-scoring era and also marked the second-most in a single match in program history, with the record being set way back in 1990.
- Valpo finished the victory with 129 digs as a team, the second-most by a D-I team this season – only trailing Wright State’s Friday total of 143 digs. For the Crusaders, the total was the fifth-highest dig mark in a single match in program history – setting a new rally scoring high – and was the highest total since 1994.
- Other Crusaders to set new career highs on Friday included sophomore Kayla Currier (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East), who registered 32 attacks in the win, and freshman Alana Brown (Napa, Calif./Vintage), who finished with 12 digs in the back row.
- Senior setter Tarrah Lasky (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) continued her return to action, appearing in parts of four sets and tallying eight assists. With Longoria still acting as primary setter, Valpo’s 63 assists were spread over nine different players – Longoria and Carlson both reached double figures, while Lasky and senior Lexie Bouza (Elgin, Ill./Burlington Central) posted eight each - Bouza setting a new career high.
- Bouza also tallied 13 digs, while Campbell picked up 19 to join the trio of Carlson, Longoria and Brown in double figures.
- Senior Rachel Bruinsma (New Era, Mich./Western Michigan Christian) registered a team-best five blocks in the win.
How It Happened
- The Crusaders went to their All-League performer in Campbell again and again on offense in the decisive fifth set, as the senior posted 20 attacks in the final set alone, coming through with six kills. A pair of early Campbell kills helped Valpo to a 5-3 lead.
- Following a four-point WSU spurt, Campbell finished two more rallies with kills as Valpo responded with a 4-0 run of its own to go ahead 9-7.
- The teams traded points on the next eight serves – with Valpo scoring on a setter dump by Lasky and kills from Carlson and Graboski. Then, Carlson recorded a kill off an overpass to push the lead to 13-11.
- Campbell finished the match with back-to-back kills to give the Crusaders the win. Fellow senior Longoria stepped up in the final set as well, tallying 11 digs in the fifth frame alone.
- A four-point run turned a 16-15 Valpo lead in the opening set into a 19-16 Wright State advantage, one which the Raiders would carry through the end of the set.
- Facing a potential 2-0 deficit trailing 21-20 in the second set, the Crusaders stepped up, finishing the frame on a 5-1 spurt. Two kills from Campbell jump-started the run, while a block from Bruinsma and Carlson sent the match into the in-game break tied at a set apiece.
- It looked like the third set would be a runaway for the Crusaders after an early 8-0 run extended their lead to 13-4. WSU rallied late, putting together a 9-3 stretch to close within 23-20, but Valpo allowed the Raiders to get no closer as it took the 2-1 advantage.
- Wright State enjoyed the better of it early in the fourth set, forcing the Crusaders to use both their timeouts by 10-5 and extending the lead to as many as seven points at 20-13. A 6-0 Valpo run brought the Crusaders within one point, but they were never able to even up the set as the match went to the fifth and final frame.
Thoughts From Head Coach Carin Avery
“Tonight was obviously a very even match between two teams that share a lot of the same strengths. Both teams have been atop the league in digs all season long, so we knew coming in to tonight that it was probably going to be a defensive battle.”
“I thought our squad did a great job tonight, considering we used many different lineups. With all the injuries we’ve dealt with, we’ve been used to playing with one or two lineups throughout a match. This was really the first time since the third weekend of the season we had a number of substitutes available, and it was awesome to finally have some different options and different looks we could go with when players were struggling.”
“With all the injuries we’ve gone through, our healthy players have been asked to take on additional tasks to help carry the load. I think you saw that tonight with how many players stepped up to take the second ball and set the offense, up and down the roster, and especially with the jobs that Morganne, finishing with 26 assists, and Katherine, finishing with a triple-double, did for us in that area.”
The Crusaders (11-14, 3-6 Horizon) face a quick turnaround, as they return to action Saturday afternoon at the ARC with a 4 p.m. first serve against Northern Kentucky. 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.
Crusaders Gain Six Wins at ITA Midwest Regional Championships
The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team had a productive Friday at the ITA Midwest Regional Championships in Columbus, Ohio. Three individuals posted main draw singles wins, while three doubles duos also collected victories.
How It Happened
- In the first round of main draw singles, senior Charlie Emhardt (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel) edged Michigan State’s Jasper Koenen in the first set 7-6 before closing out the win in Set 2 6-3.
- Senior Dave Bacalla (Skokie, Ill. / Niles North) came from behind to knock off Michigan State’s Brett Forman 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 in first round main draw singles.
- Senior Jeffrey Schorsch (Perrysburg, Ohio / Perrysburg) won by retirement over Green Bay’s Florian Kraenzler in the first round of main draw singles.
- In the first round of doubles play, senior Kyle Dunn (Fond du Lac, Wis. / Fond du Lac) and junior Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio / Poland) teamed up to edge out Marquette’s Alvaro Verdu and Nick Dykema 8-6.
- Freshmen Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) and Daniel Langston (Ponca City, Okla. / Ponca City) also notched a first-round doubles triumph for the Crusaders, getting the better of UIC’s Marcelo Dib and Christian San Andres 8-4.
- In addition, sophomore Chad Kissell (Latrobe, Pa. / Greater Latrobe) and Bacalla joined forces for an 8-2 doubles win over DePaul’s Fran Tonejc and Chris Casati.
- Kissell took the opening set 6-3 from Marquette’s Alvaro Verdu in the first round of main draw singles, but then Verdu battled back with a 7-6 win in Set 2 and a 7-5 victory in Set 3 to claim a dramatic victory.
- Dunn went 2-0 on Thursday in qualifying singles and needed one more victory to advance to the main draw, but he dropped his third-round qualifying match 6-4, 6-3 on Friday morning against Notre Dame’s Brendon Kempin.
- Freshman Franklin Brozovich (Fort Gratiot, Mich. / Port Huron Northern) and redshirt freshman Brian Pecyna (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) fell 8-0 to Wisconsin’s Josef Dodridge and Chema Carranza in first-round doubles play.
The second round of main draw singles will take place on Saturday. Emhardt will clash with Ohio State’s Martin Joyce, Bacalla will square off with Marquette’s Luke Smrek and Schorsch will lock horns with Wisconsin’s John Zordani. Doubles competition will also continue with the second round on Saturday.
Women’s Tennis Team Represented at ITA Midwest Regional
The Valparaiso University women’s tennis team finished competition at the ITA Midwest Regional in East Lansing, Mich. on Friday. The Crusaders were represented by two duos in the doubles bracket and two individuals in consolation action.
How It Happened
- Seniors Kathleen Hebble (Sellersburg, Ind. / Silver Creek) and Paige Heuer (Munster, Ind. / Munster) fell to Chicago State’s Mariya Kostyuk and Leshia Gadacz 8-2 in first-round doubles activity.
- Freshman Dao Sysouvanh (Sun Prairie, Wis. / Sun Prairie) and sophomore Meg Modesto (Chesterton, Ind. / Chesterton) also lost their first-round match, suffering an 8-4 setback to Akron’s Ariadna Blinova and Shannon Newnes.
- Sysouvanh also competed in consolation qualifying singles against Akron’s Carli Knezevich and lost in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2.
- Heuer was on the losing end of a 6-2, 6-0 match against Cleveland State’s Jana Schober.
The ITA Regional Championships are the final event on Valpo’s fall calendar. Next, the Crusaders turn the page to the spring season.