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Volleyball Advances With Sweep Over Stout
Posted: Tuesday, November 4, 2008
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - The No. 1 seed UW-Eau Claire volleyball team advanced to the WIAC conference tournament semifinals with a three-set sweep over the No. 8 seed UW-Stout tonight at the McPhee Physical Education Center.
The Blugolds will now face the No. 4 seed UW-Whitewater on Friday evening. The Warhawks defeated No. 5 seed UW-Platteville in three sets, 25-21, 25-13 and 25-12. With the victory, Eau Claire improves to 22-10 on the season and will also be the host site for the remainder of the conference tournament this weekend. Stout finishes the year with a 5-25 overall record.
With just one day to prepare for the match, the Blugolds came out of the gate strong and took control early in the first set. Never relinquishing its lead, Eau Claire won the first set by a comfortable 25-11 margin.
Set two was much of the same for the Blugolds. Forcing Stout to make tough service returns, Eau Claire used aggressive serving and solid front row execution to take the second set by a score of 25-15.
"We knew they were going to be coming with a lot of cross court attacks, so we were ready for them," said Katie Fox (Sr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./Chi-Hi), who had a hand in four of the eight Eau Claire blocks. "We were able to key in on their top hitters and anticipate where they were going with their hits."
In the final set of the match, Eau Claire Head Coach Kim Wudi said her team went on the defensive, shying away from its aggressive mentality from the first set. Stout took advantage of the situation and nearly pulled off the victory with its season hanging in the balance. However, with Stout leading the match 23-22, Eau Claire rallied for the final three points of the set to secure the first round victory.
Emily Zupon (So.-Antigo, Wis.) led the Blugold offense with seven kills. Fox and Danielle Lucia (So.-St. Cloud, Minn./Apollo) each had six kills. Emily Haese (Sr.-Mishicot, Wis.) recorded 30 assists, while Lindsey Smith (Jr.-Maple Lake, Minn.) tallied 10 digs on defense.
Maggie Meixl led the Blue Devils with eight kills and Alicia Mizer picked up 15 digs.
In other tournament action, No. 2 UW-Oshkosh beat No. 7 UW-Superior by scores of 25-13, 25-23, 25-23, and No. 3 UW-La Crosse defeated No. 6 UW-River Falls, 26-24, 25-17 and 25-17.
Looking ahead to Friday's matchup, Whitewater comes into the contest with an overall record of 27-9. Wudi said Whitewater played one of their best matches of the season against the Blugolds earlier this season. In that match, Eau Claire fell to Whitewater in four sets, handing the Blugolds its only conference loss of the season.
Beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday evening, La Crosse will face off against Oshkosh in the opening match of the semifinals. With the conclusion of that match comes the Eau Claire-Whitewater contest scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. Both matches will be held in the McPhee Physical Education Center.
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