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Volleyball Ends NCAA Run
By: Kevin Meinholz, Sports Information Director
OSHKOSH, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - After falling in the first two sets, the 16th-ranked UW-Eau Claire volleyball team made the match interesting despite falling 3-1 to second-ranked UW-Oshkosh in the second round of the NCAA Division III Championship at Kolf Sports Center tonight.
With the Titans winning 25-16 in the first two sets tonight, the Blugolds did not give up and made a great comeback in set three, winning 25-22. In the third set, the Blugolds got down 20-15 but then went on a 10-2 run after a timeout to push the match into four sets.
It seemed like the Blugolds had gained the momentum in set four after jumping out to a 15-9 lead, but the home team then began to regain control. The Titans tied the set up at 15-15 and the teams then went back and forth before Oshkosh came out on top 25-23.
The Blugolds, who defeated the Titans last Friday in a Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Semifinal match in Oshkosh, end their season with a 31-8 overall record. The Titans improve to 37-2 on the season and will now face the University of St. Thomas (Minn.) in the regional final tomorrow at 7 p.m. St. Thomas beat Luther College (Iowa) 3-0 earlier this evening to advance to the final. The winner of tomorrow's match will join seven other teams next weekend in University Heights, Ohio for the final three days of the NCAA Championship.
Two Blugolds finished with double-digit kill totals. Emily Zupon (Jr.-Antigo, Wis.) recorded 14 while Kristen Moore (Sr.-Green Bay, Wis./Ashwaubenon) had 11. Oshkosh's Katie Beining led the match with 16. As a team, the Blugolds hit .139 while Oshkosh hit .264.
Emily Neave (Fr.-Salem, Wis./Westosha Central) led the Blugolds with 32 kills while Blair Murphy (Jr.-Hermantown, Minn.) picked up 16 digs to lead the Blugolds. Four other Blugolds finished with 10 or more.
The Blugolds' 31 wins this season is the most since 1997 when they had 32 and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Championship. The Blugolds have reached 31 or more wins just seven other times in history, five times in the 1980s and twice in the 1990s.