Crusaders Topped by Sycamores Saturday Evening
Looking for its first sweep of a weekend of MVC play this season, the Valparaiso University volleyball team came up just short Saturday evening in Terre Haute, Ind., falling to host Indiana State, 3-1 (25-23, 23-25, 25-22, 25-17).
How It Happened
– Valpo led in the early stages of the first set by as many as four points at 10-6, but a 6-1 run from the Sycamores turned it into a 12-11 deficit.
– The Crusaders would rally to regain the lead and held a 16-15 advantage before ISU ran off an 8-3 spurt to pull ahead 23-19. Valpo would score four of the next five to close to within 24-23 as the Crusaders held off two set point chances, but the Sycamores converted on their third opportunity.
– A back-and-forth second set saw the Sycamores lead late at 22-21 before back-to-back errors gave Valpo a 23-22 lead. A Crusader error evened the frame at 23-all, but a kill from Lizzie Zaleski (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist) gave Valpo set point and Katherine Carlson (Lake Orion, Mich./Notre Dame Prep) evened the match with a kill of her own.
– Valpo controlled the early portion of the third set, leading by four points quickly out of the gate. The lead was two at 8-6, a scenario which repeated seven times in a row as the teams kept trading sideouts and the Crusaders maintained a slight lead, but could never push it back to three points.
– It was the Sycamores which broke the sideout streak with a service ace which made it 14-14, part of a 9-2 run which gave them a 21-16 lead. Valpo would get no closer than two points the rest of the way.
– The Crusaders could never gain an outright lead in the fourth set. Tied at 7-7, Indiana State reeled off four straight points to take control.
Inside the Match
– Following up on her 13-kill, 0-error performance Friday night, junior Sydney Bronner (Frankenmuth, Mich./Frankenmuth) paced the Valpo offense Saturday with 14 kills on .265 hitting.
– Carlson totaled 13 kills and narrowly missed her second double-double of the weekend, picking up eight digs as well.
– Zaleski needed just 13 swings to pick up seven kills Saturday night, hitting at a .462 clip.
– Freshman Rylee Cookerly (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) continued her ascent up Valpo’s single-season digs chart, recording a match-best 23 digs to push her season total to 621 – tied for seventh-most in a season in program history.
Valpo (16-14, 7-9 MVC) will battle for a spot in the MVC Tournament field next weekend in its final two regular season matches, starting with a Friday night match against conference champion Missouri State at 7 p.m. The match can be seen live on The Valley on ESPN3, with links for the live coverage available via ValpoAthletics.com.