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Volleyball Season Ends In Second Round Of NCAA Tournament
Posted: Friday, November 14, 2008
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Seeking a spot in the championship match of the NCAA regional tournament at the University of St. Thomas, the UW-Eau Claire volleyball team lost to the 23rd ranked College of St. Benedict's (Minn.) in four sets this afternoon. With the loss, the Blugolds season of success ends with an overall record of 24-12.
The Blugolds managed to take an early 1-0 lead with an opening set victory of 25-23. In what would prove to be a back and forth affair all afternoon, St. Ben's was able to fend off several Eau Claire rallies and take the next two sets by identical scores of 25-21. Late into the fourth set, St. Ben's held a 23-19, but with its season on the line, the Blugolds fought back to tie the set at 24. Each team would trade side outs until St. Ben's clinched the match in a marathon fourth set, 28-26.
With the victory, the Blazers improve to 28-6 on the year and will face either UW-La Crosse or Concordia (Minn.) in the championship match Saturday evening.
With a career-high 21 kills, Katie Fox (Sr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./Chi-Hi) led an Eau Claire offense that recorded 56 kills in the match. Jenna Weber (Sr.-Antigo, Wis.) was the only other Blugold to reach double-digits with 11 kills. Emily Haese (Sr.-Mishicot, Wis.) played well on both sides of the ball, collecting 49 assists to go along with 18 digs. Abby Freiborg (Sr.-Sacred Heart, Minn./Renville County West) picked up seven kills and 16 digs, while Lindsey Smith (Jr.-Maple Lake, Minn.) shared top honors defensively with Haese, recording 18 digs.
With the season coming to a close, five Blugolds end their careers with the team. The seniors include Fox, Freiborg, Haese, Kristen Moore (Sr.-Green Bay, Wis./Ashwaubenon) and Weber. The seniors enjoyed several team and individual successes including two WIAC championships (2006, 2008), four appearances in the NCAA tournament (2006-2008) and a four-year overall record of 106-32.
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