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Volleyball Season Ends With Loss To Whitewater In Regional Final
Posted: Saturday, November 11, 2006
EAU CLAIRE - For the second year in a row the UW-Eau Claire volleyball team had its season cut short by UW-Whitewater with a 3-1 loss tonight in the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional Final in the McPhee Physical Education Center.
The No. 6-ranked Warhawks won by scores of 30-28, 30-19, 26-30, 30-27. The Warhawks, the defending national champions, advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals in Salem, VA for the ninth time in school history and the fifth time since the 2000 season. The Warhawks improve to a record of 34-6 and have won nine straight matches.
In the first game, neither team had a lead of greater than three. The key point of the game was when the score was tied 28-28, the Warhawks finished off a long rally with a kill and would go on to win 30-28. Whitewater had 15 kills in game one, while the Blugolds had a .000 attack percentage.
With the score 4-3 Eau Claire in the second game, the Warhawks would go on an 11-3 run and go up 17-9. Whitewater would take the second game 30-19. The Warhawks had a .321 attack percentage, their best of the match.
In game three the Blugolds, down 21-20, used a 6-1 run to take a 26-22 lead. They then held that margin and took the third game 30-26 to stay alive in the match. The Blugolds had 18 kills in game three.
The Blugolds appeared to be sending the match into a fifth game as they were up 26-21 in game four. However, the Warhawks went on to score the next seven points to take a 28-26 lead. The Warhawks then would get the win on a service ace and take game four 30-27.
The Blugolds had 54 kills in the match and Whitewater had 53 kills. The Warhawks had 34 blocks, while the Blugolds only had 12. Jodi Dunbar (Sr.-Platteville, WI) led the Blugolds with 18 kills, Jessica Groh (Sr.-Eau Claire, WI/North) had 13 kills and Nikki Peterson (Jr.-North St. Paul, MN/North) had 10 kills. Carly Freiborg (Sr.-Sacred Heart, MN/Renville County West) had 44 assists and led the team with 17 digs. Ashley Danielson (Sr.-Cadott, WI) had four blocks to lead the Blugolds.
Jessica Groh tied a school record for total blocks in a season with 182. She ties Becca Carstensen who had the record in the 2004 season.
The Warhawks now move on to the Elite Eight and face the winner of the University of Redlands (CA) and California Lutheran match. That quarterfinal match will take place in the Salem Civic Center on Thursday, November 16th.
The Blugolds season ends with a 30-4 record. The Blugolds hit the 30-win mark for the second consecutive year and the ninth time in history. Three of the four Blugold losses came by way of Whitewater. Be sure to check www.uwec.edu/athletics for more volleyball news and the 2007 schedule.
- JR -