Nov. 3, 2007
Contact: Greg Murphy
CLEVELAND, Ohio - Cleveland State notched its school-record 12th conference win and clinched no worse than second place in the Horizon League with a 30-25, 30-25 16-30, 30-22 triumph over Valparaiso in league action on Saturday afternoon in Woodling Gym.
The Vikings, who improved to 19-7 overall, are now 12-3 in league play, bettering the previous school-record of 11 conference wins set in 2005. Valparaiso fell to 17-10 overall and 7-7 in league play.
In addition, CSU can finish no worse than second in the regular season standings. The Vikings trail Milwaukee (13-1) who clinched at least a tie for the regular season championship with a 3-2 win at Green Bay last night.
"It's nice to get the win and set the records, but we just want to continue to play well and get better each and every match," head coach Chuck Voss said.
"I thought we served and blocked really well all night," Voss continued. "We were able to disrupt them and take them out of their rhythm. Our passing was a little suspect in the first three games, but once we got that going, we were able to get into a nice rhythm and really come alive in the fourth game."
Beth Greulich, the reigning two-time Horizon League Offensive Player of the Week, tied for match-high honors with 15 kills, while Alexis Korovich notched her team-leading 16th double-double of the season with 14 kills and 12 digs. Mel Snyder dished out 45 assists, while Jordan Bateman ended with a match-best 15 digs.
Game one was tight during the first half, but the Vikings scored six straight points to break open a 12-11 advantage and take an 18-11 lead. Alexis Korovich highlighted the run with a pair of service aces and a kill. CSU pushed the lead to as many as nine points as the Crusaders never threatened from that point.
The Vikings fell behind in game two, 15-10, but rattled off a 7-1 run to take the lead for good at 17-16 and head into the intermission with a 2-0 lead.
However, the lead was short-lived as the Crusaders raced to a 12-4 lead out of the locker room and never looked back as they sliced their deficit to 2-1. Valparaiso posted six service aces in game three and held CSU to a .111 hitting percentage.
For as much as CSU seemed to struggle in game three, it was the complete opposite in game four as the Vikings stormed out to a 4-1 lead thanks in large part two a pair of solo blocks and a kill from Greulich. The Vikings extended the lead to 16-10 as they hit a game-best .389 (19-5-36) in game four.
"We just got back to what we do best in game four," Voss said. "Our passing was much improved and that led to some easy points."
Val Bollenbacher paced the Crusaders with 15 kills, while Angie Porche (14) and Jill Meyer (11) also reached double-digits. Kim Bukowski posted a double-double with 28 assists and 10 digs.
The Crusaders ended the match with a 55-50 advantage in kills, but the Vikings outhit Valparaiso, .178-.118 and posted more aces (11-8), digs (51-50) and blocks (20-10).
CSU is scheduled to return to action on Sunday (Nov. 4) when it hosts 17th-ranked Dayton for a 1:00 pm nonconference match in Woodling Gym.