Oct. 15, 2002
INDIANAPOLIS - The Valparaiso volleyball team defeated Butler in three games (30-26, 30-22, 30-25) on Tuesday at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The win marked the first victory for the Crusaders over Butler since the 1979 season, as the Bulldogs had won the last 17 meetings against their non-conference rival.
The two teams played even early in game one, until consecutive service aces by Cyndi Norman pushed the Crusaders (12-7) ahead, 15-12. Back-to-back kills by Laura Klancnik brought the Bulldogs (9-13) back to within one, but five consecutive service points by Marion Hansen in addition to several crafty offensive plays by Michelle Robinson, propelled Valparaiso to a 27-20 advantage. Kills by Kali Carter and Megan Knightly helped Butler close the gap to 29-26, but a Bulldog hitting error sealed the Crusaders' 30-26 win.
Butler raced out to a 13-9 start in game two behind some impressive defensive efforts. But, the Crusaders quickly countered, tying the game at 19 off of a Butler service error. Valparaiso continued to roll from there on out, as the Bulldogs closed out the game on three straight hitting errors, giving the Crusaders the 30-22 victory.
Poor hitting again plagued the Bulldogs in game three, as the squad hit .000 (9-9-49) on the final frame. After falling behind 18-13, an Amanda Matthews ace followed by a Norris kill off the block put Butler up 20-19. The Bulldogs' lead was short-lived, though, as Sarah Schmalz's kill to the back line gave the Crusaders a 24-21 advantage. Butler came no closer than three points throughout the remainder of the game, as Valparaiso went on to win 30-25.
"It is hard to figure out why we (Butler) are playing so inconsistent lately," said head coach Sharon Clark. "It's difficult to win without blocking and passing and we just didn't have that tonight. We need to get ourselves together quickly so that we can compete well on Friday and Saturday."
The Bulldogs were led by Carter who tallied her 11th double-double of the season with 12 kills and 10 digs. Knightly led all players with 17 digs, while Matthews finished with 29 assists and 10 digs.
Butler ended the match hitting .054, while the Crusaders recorded a .223 clip. Valparaiso was led by Elissa Malthaner, who tallied 15 kills while hitting .542 (15-2-24) on the match. Robinson added 11 kills and 13 digs, while Norman dished out 37 assists to go along with her 13 digs.
The Bulldogs will return to action on Friday (Oct. 18) when they host Youngstown State in a Horizon League battle at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Match time is slated for 7 p.m.