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Eau Claire To Host WIAC Volleyball Final Four
Posted: Thursday, November 6, 2008
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - The top-seeded UW-Eau Claire volleyball team will host the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Volleyball Final Four Friday and Saturday at the McPhee Physical Education Center.
Second-seeded UW-Oshkosh will take on third-seeded UW-La Crosse in the opening contest at 5 p.m. followed by UW-Eau Claire taking on the fourth-seeded UW-Whitewater at 7:30 p.m. The third place match will take place on Saturday at noon, while the championship will be decided at 2:30 p.m.
Both the Titans and Warhawks are currently ranked in the latest Bison/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll released on Tuesday. UW-Oshkosh, with a 34-2 record, is ranked seventh and UW-Whitewater, last year's National Runner-Up, is 11th.
UW-Eau Claire enters the weekend in the midst of an eight match winning streak and is coming off a first-round sweep against eighth-seeded UW-Stout. As team, the Blugolds rank second in the WIAC in assists (11.33/set) and service aces (1.86/set), third in total kills (12.31/set) and fourth in hitting percentage (.194) and digs (14.73/set). Abby Freiborg (Sr.-Sacred Heart, Minn./Renville County West) has been the offensive backbone for the Blugolds this season, ranking sixth in the WIAC in kills (2.75/set) and second in aces (0.49/set) and points (3.39/set). Emily Haese (Sr.-Mishicot, Wis.) ranks third in the conference with 9.57 assists per set, while Lindsey Smith (Jr.-Maple Lake, Minn.) ranks seventh defensively with 3.93 digs per set.
UW-Whitewater punched their final four ticket with a 3-0 sweep over fifth-seeded UW-Platteville. The Warhawks rank second in the WIAC in hitting percentage (.226) and digs (16.12/set), along with leading the conference in kills (12.67/set) and blocks (1.96/set). Melissa Zuleger (Jr.-Little Chute, Wis.) ranks second in the WIAC in blocks (0.98/set) while Keri Klotzbuecher (Fr.-Clintonville, Wis.) ranks fourth in kills with 2.76 per set. Alyssa Bauer (Fr.-Naperville, Ill./Central) sits atop the Warhawks' defense and ranks second in the conference with 4.87 digs per set.
UW-Oshkosh claimed a share of the WIAC regular season crown with UW-Eau Claire and advanced to the round of four by defeating seventh-seeded UW-Superior in three sets. The Titans lead the WIAC statistically in four categories, including hitting percentage (.228), assists (11.60/set), service aces (1.91/set) and winning percentage (.946). Kelsey Mauer (Fr.-Sheboygan Falls, Wis.) leads the offense and WIAC in hitting percentage (.320), while Megan Fischer(Jr.-Manitowoc, Wis./Lincoln) ranks fifth with 2.76 kills per set. Defensively, Christina Cahoon (So.-Watertown, Wis.) sits atop the leader board with 5.21 digs per set, and also ranks fifth aces with 0.38 per set.
UW-La Crosse earned their way into the final four with a three-set victory over sixth-seeded UW-River Falls. The Eagles come into the weekend leading the conference in digs (18.51/set), while ranking third in hitting percentage (.214) and assists (11.27/set). Amber Schoonover (Sr.-Tomah, Wis.) paces the Eagles' offense with 3.06 kills per set, good for third in the WIAC and ranks fourth in total points with 3.37 per set. Nina Walch (Sr.-Rollingstone, Minn./Lewiston-Altura) ranks second in hitting percentage (.294) and sixth in points (3.29/set) and blocks (0.75/set). On the defensive side, Melanie Tate (So.-Stanley, Wis./Stanley-Boyd) leads UW-La Crosse and ranks fifth in the WIAC with 4.20 digs per set.
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