Valparaiso University's Kelsey Berrington talks like a true setter.

She hands out assists when talking about the Crusaders.

"We are a team, a family like sisters and I think that is one of the reasons we are playing so well," Berrington said. "Starting the season like we have is a great confidence booster."

Having Berrington is a great confidence booster. She was named the MVP of the St. Francis (N.Y.) Terrier Invitational, helping lead the Crusaders to the team title. It was their second straight tourney win for VU (6-0).

She had 25 assists in the win over the hosts Saturday and averaged 9.75 assists over three matches. Valparaiso lost just one game in the three matches.

Crusaders coach Carin Avery said Berrington's decision to come to Valparaiso was a big recruiting coup, since Berrington's mom, Kim, was the head volleyball coach at Eastern Michigan.

"We were truly blessed when Kelsey decided to come to Valpo," Avery said. "I always thought she would play for her mom. Her mom and I have been friends since Kelsey was a little girl. She knows the game so well. She is mature, a natural leader, a high volleyball IQ."

Berrington said she is glad she came to VU.

"I wanted to get away from home and be my own person and my mom knew that," Berrington said. "I came here and fell in love with the place. A small campus, a family atmosphere."

The team took advantage of the trip to New York, as they were on "Good Morning America" on Friday, courtesy of 2002 VU alum and GMA meteorologist Ginger Zee. In addition, the team went to the Statue of Liberty and the 9/11 site, then traveled to Times Square on Saturday night.

"It was a great experience to see New York," Berrington said. "We made it a cultural experience as well, but we made sure we took care of business."

The Crusader are home this weekend, hosting the Popcorn Classic on Friday and Saturday.

North to Alaska: The St. Joseph's College women's volleyball team finished 2-1 at the Nanook Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Bridget Krasowski was voted the tourney's MVP. Krasowski totaled 30 kills, nine aces and a block.

Teammate Lauren Robertson was named to the all-tournament team with 47 assists and 25 kills. The Pumas volunteered in a Fairbanks food shelter and coach Brittany Cherwinka said the team got more than volleyball out of the trip.

"It was a bonding and we got to see a lot of sights in Alaska," Cherwinka said. "We went to a salmon bake and went on a glacier cruise. Helping in the food pantry was really a good thing because we teach community service."

Calling all golfers: Indiana Northwest men's and women's golf coach Ryan Bishop is busy during the inaugural year for both programs.

The RedHawks are not competing in the fall, but Bishop said it is not idle time. He recently signed Chesterton's Eric Richardson for the 2016-17 season and the coach hopes to ink another men's golfer on Friday.

"I recruit from Homewood (Ill.) to Valparaiso, and there are a lot of good golfers in the area," Bishop said. "We have to convince them to come to IU Northwest and be part of starting a program."

He said he has eight men and five women golfers, but can use more. if interested, they can contact him at ryabisho@iun.edu.

Fast start in Pennsylvania: St. Joseph's College football coach Dan Day won his debut as the Pumas won 30-10 at Edinboro (Pa.).

What impressed Day was how his team reacted to challenges on both side of the ball. In the third quarter, the Pumas led 10-7 and muffed a punt. The Scots took over at the Pumas' 17-yard line.

"The defense just dug in and three plays stopped them," Day said. "That was the game right there because even though they tied it 10-all with a field goal, if they had gone ahead, it might have been a different story."

Quarterback Wade Burtron 8-yard run put St. Joseph's up for good. He passed for 195 yards and Braxton Shelton rushed for 96 yards and a score. Defensive back Jessie Pourch had three interceptions and linebacker Joel Wimbley had 13 tackles. Kicker and Wheeler grad Gavin Voss booted three field goals.

"The defense was flying all over the place," Day said. "Defensive coordinator Nubis Padhy has done a great job getting the defense ready. Really, the whole team answered the call and that is what we talked to them about."

The Pumas (1-0) travel to Philippi, W. Va., Saturday to play Alderson Broaddus.

Back home in Hammond: The Purdue Calumet women's volleyball team played its first home match Wednesday when it hosted Goshen College. The Peregrines were 3-4 going into the match, but coach Julie Wiejak said she likes what she sees in the team.

"We played our first seven on the road and we came away with three wins," Wiejak said. "We were just a few points away from winning a few matches, so yes I am pleased, but we also have to build off that and get better."


Sports Copy Editor

Jim is a copy editor for The Times who works out of Valparaiso. A South Central High School (1984) and Ball State ('89) grad, he’s covered preps most of his career. He received the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association’s Media Award in 1997.

Jason is a sports copy editor and avid traveler whose goal is to see and do everything before he expires from this mortal coil. Also, mosquitoes find him delicious.