Zaleski Sets Career High For Crusaders Friday Night


The Valparaiso University volleyball received a career-high 12 kills Friday night from junior Lizzie Zaleski (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist), but the Crusaders fell at the ARC to Indiana State, 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-22).


How It Happened

–          Valpo controlled much of the opening set, jumping out to an early lead courtesy of a 5-1 spurt. The Crusader advantage remained around 3-4 points for most of the frame, with back-to-back kills from Zaleski and junior Sydney Bronner (Frankenmuth, Mich./Frankenmuth) pushing the advantage to 18-13.

–          Indiana State rallied with six of the next seven points to tie the set at 19-all. Neither team was able to get more than a one-point edge, until with the score 23-23, the Sycamores got a Nikkie White kill followed by a Crusader error to claim the opener.

–          The second set started much like the first, as the Crusaders scored six straight points to go ahead 11-6. Valpo maintained a lead through the middle stages of the frame until, trailing 18-16, Indiana State reeled off seven straight points to take control.

–          Coming out of the in-game break, the Crusaders again took an early lead. This time, Indiana State rallied mid-set, scoring six straight points to take a 14-11 lead.

–          But the Crusaders responded with three straight points to tie the set at 14-all and set up a back-and-forth battle. Neither side led by more than one point over the next 12 points. But with the score 20-20, Indiana State closed the match on a 5-2 spurt to finish its win.


Inside the Match

–          Playing the entire match on the right side, Zaleski tallied 12 kills on .250 hitting to set a new career best. She had previously picked up 11 kills on a pair of occasions as a freshman.

–          Senior Taylor Graboski (Upper Sandusky, Ohio/Upper Sandusky) continued her strong offensive campaign with a team-high 13 kills on .310 hitting.

–          Four Crusaders finished in double figures in digs, led by 18 from freshman Rylee Cookerly (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg).

–          Fellow rookie Brittany Anderson (East Chicago, Ind./Bishop Noll) finished with 31 assists and 12 digs, while Bronner led the Crusaders as she was in on four blocks.

–          Indiana State held a 48-37 advantage in kills as the Sycamores hit at a .298 clip, committing just nine attack errors. Damadj Johnson led the way for ISU with 14 kills on .650 hitting.

–          The three close sets featured a total of 25 tie scores and 10 lead changes.


Next Up

Valpo (9-10, 2-5 MVC) looks to rebound on Saturday night at 7 p.m. versus Evansville. The match can be heard live on WVUR (95.1 FM, Valparaiso), with links for the live audio and live stats available via