The Chesterton volleyball team had Valparaiso on the ropes on Thursday
night. Coach TR Harlan knew delivering the knockout punch would require a
strong effort from the Trojans.
Chesterton held off a late Valparaiso rally in dramatic fashion and walked
out of Viking Gym with a 25-15, 20-25, 25-20, 15-25, 15-13 victory over the
same Valparaiso team that swept the Trojans earlier in the season.
"(Valparaiso) has too much talent to not make a run," Harlan said. "We knew
they'd make one. We needed to figure out how to make an answer."
The Trojans scored four straight points after Valparaiso had taken a 10-9
lead in the fifth-and-deciding game. Chesterton started out the game with an
8-3 lead, but the Vikings kept hanging around. With Chesterton clinging to a
14-11 lead, the Vikings scored two more points before the Trojans closed the
"I was really proud of our focus and our ability to stay in points," Harlan
said. "That's been a problem for us this year."
The Trojans started fast after they arrived in the same gym where they were
swept last season. Chesterton rattled the Vikings and began the night with a
25-15 win in the first game. The teams see-sawed back-and-forth over the
next 75 minutes after the Vikings would answer with victories in the second
and fourth games, setting up the winner-take-all finale.
"This was why we needed to win the third game," Harlan said. "We had to have
that safety net against a good team."
Once the Trojans were in the fifth game, they wouldn't be denied. Emily
Marcus led Chesterton with 10 kills and the junior outside hitter was
beaming after the match as the Trojans led their fan section in the school
"This is a huge win for us," Marcus said. "This was one that we really
wanted and we came together as a team to get the win."
Chesterton got swept at home against Valparaiso in the first meeting. The
match came shortly after senior Ali Ostrom was lost for the season to
injury. Thursday's match provided more than just another mark in the win
column for the Trojans (11-7, 4-5), who are gearing up for the latter stage
of the season.
"A win like this definitely boosts our confidence, but we have bigger
matches to come," Marcus said.
Chesterton -- Jacklyn Moleski 1 kill, 1 dig; Ashley Hecimovich 4 aces; Sara
Tarnowski 3 kills, 2 aces, 9 digs; Emily Marcus 10 kills, 18 digs, 3 block
kills; Kennedy Baltus 15 assists, 4 digs; Shelby Snyder 16 assists, 4 digs;
Jordyn Moleski 21 digs; Aubrey Nagdeman 9 kills; Jessica Urycki 7 kills, 2
block kills; Brittany Milzarek 1 kill, 1 block kill; Sammi Ostrom 5 kills, 1
Valparaiso -- Lauren Mack 17 digs; Anna Walls 14 digs; Noelle Eveland 8
kills, 22 digs; Monroe Olsen 17 assists, 3 aces; Anne Clark 9 kills; Kate
Bontraeger 13 kills; Timi Stiscak 9 kills; Dani Sutter 6 assists.
Records: Chesterton 11-7 (4-5); Valparaiso 11-9 (7-2)