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Volleyball Wins Heated Battle Over River Falls
By: Kevin Meinholz, Sports Information Director
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - The UW-Eau Claire women's volleyball team fell behind early but battled back to defeat UW-River Falls 3-2 in the McPhee Physical Education Center on Dig for the Cure night.
In front of one of the largest crowds in Blugold volleyball history, the Blugolds and Falcons gave those in attendance a show. In set one, River Falls defeated the Blugolds 25-23 after the teams went back and forth, much like they did the entire evening.
The 18th-ranked Blugolds were able to even out the match at 1-1, winning 25-20 in set two. It was all Blugolds in the third set and Eau Claire jumped out to a 12-5 lead. River Falls was able to close the gap to five at 18-13 but Eau Claire turned up the pressure again and went on a 7-3 run to win the set 25-16.
In the fourth set, the teams played even and neither team could get out in front comfortably. The Blugolds and Falcons traded points a number of times during the match and River Falls eventually came out on the winning side 32-30.
The Blugolds were able to pull away in the fifth set. After River Falls scored the first two points, the Blugolds rattled off the next six. The teams once again traded points for the next few minutes but the Blugolds went back on another streak and scored four in a row to make the score 14-7. The Falcons were able to get two more points before the Blugolds put the match in the books.
Emily Zupon (Jr.-Antigo, Wis.) led Eau Claire with 17 kills while four others reached double-digit kill totals. Kristen Moore (Sr.-Green Bay, Wis./Ashwaubenon) and Rachel Ver Voort (Jr.-Madison, Wis./Middleton) each had 14. Moore and Katie Wall (So.-Madison, Wis./La Follette) each finished with career-best hitting percentages with .583 and .556, respectively.
River Falls' Kelsey Scheele led the match with 20 kills and 22 digs.
Eau Claire finished with a .291 hitting percentage to the Falcons' .206. The Blugolds committed 18 attack errors while River Falls had 22.
The Blugolds (16-4, 2-2 WIAC) now lead the all-time series between the Falcons (7-12, 3-2 WIAC) 50-33. Eau Claire has won the last nine matches, dating back to September 24, 2005. Last year's match was also closely contested and Eau Claire came away with the 3-2 win in River Falls.
Eau Claire will now take the weekend off and will be back in action next Wednesday at UW-Stout. The match is set to get underway at 7 p.m.