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Volleyball Falls in WIAC Tournament Championship Match
By: Matt Troge, Sports Information Student
OSHKOSH, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - After defeating No. 1-ranked UW-Oshkosh 3-2 yesterday, the 18th-ranked UW-Eau Claire's women volleyball team fell short against seventh-ranked UW-Whitewater 3-0 today in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Tournament Championship at Kolf Sports Center.
UW-Whitewater, which has won 61 of the last 77 matches, handed the Blugolds their first loss in 12 matches. The win today gives the Warhawks their third WIAC Tournament title in the past four years as well as their 13th championship overall. UW-Whitewater won the WIAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship.
Eau Claire came close during the first two matches of the night and almost came away with the win in the third match, but fell short with scores of 25-17, 25-16 and 25-22.
Team captain Kristen Moore (Sr.-Green Bay, Wis./Ashwaubenon) led the way for the Blugolds with nine kills on the night, with Rachel Ver Voort (Jr.-Madison, Wis./Middleton) following behind with eight. Whitewater's Sofia Sanchez led the night with 17 total kills. Eau Claire finished the night with 26 kills while Whitewater ended with 51 while Oshkosh committed 15 errors to the Blugolds 14.
Team captain Lindsey Smith (Sr.-Maple Lake, Minn.) recorded nine digs on the night while Emily Neave (Fr.-Salem, Wis./Westosha Central) added seven to the team total of 35. Neave also led the team with 14 assists, making up over half of the teams 22.
Whitewater's Alyse Karls had a match-high 41 assists while Alyssa Bauer led the match with 16 digs.
The Blugolds (30-7) will now wait for Monday's 62-team pairings to the NCAA Division III Championship. The first regional game will be held Thursday, November 12.