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Blugold Volleyball Struggles in Two Losses
By: Ashley Hofer, Sports Information Student
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - In stark contrast to last night's victory over Oshkosh, the No. 16-ranked UW-Eau Claire volleyball team had problems all day as it dropped two matches to No. 14 University of St. Thomas and Viterbo University at the McPhee Physical Education Center.
The Blugolds first fell 3-0 to the Tommies and then ended the day with a 3-2 loss to the V-Hawks.
In the first set against St. Thomas, the Tommies went on a 12-point scoring spree to crush the Blugolds 25-16. Eau Claire kept the 25-21 second set closer, but never managed to surpass the Tommies after scoring the first point. The Blugolds didn’t get much going in the third set either and lost 25-13.
Despite the loss, three Blugolds hit double-digit figures in digs. Blair Murphy (Sr.-Hermantown, Minn.) earned a match-leading 20 while Amanda Lessner (Sr.-Watertown, Wis.) and Rachel Ver Voort (Sr.-Madison, Wis./Middleton) both added another 10 digs for Eau Claire. Lessner also racked up 18 assists throughout the match while Liz Amici (Jr.-Whitewater, Wis.) led the team with seven kills.
Whereas the first match of the day finished in a quick three sets, the Blugolds kept fighting to extend the Viterbo match to the full five. The teams flip-flopped match wins; when the V-Hawks won the first and third sets (25-20, 25-17) and the determined Blugolds rallied to take the second and fourth sets (25-21, 25-20) to keep their match hopes alive.
In the deciding fifth set, Eau Claire maintained the lead all the way until the V-Hawks surged ahead to lead 11-10. Viterbo never looked back, and defeated the Blugolds 15-13.
Murphy, Ver Voort and Lessner once again led the Blugolds in digs, with Murphy racking up 30 of the Blugolds’ 91 total. Four Blugolds earned double-digit kills; Amici led with 13, Ver Voort followed with 12, and Anne Satterlee (So.-Green Bay, Wis./Ashwaubenon) and Laura Slinger (Jr.-Faribault, Minn./Bethlehem Academy) also added 11 and 10 kills respectively. Lessner also totaled 51 assists.
The two losses drop Eau Claire to 15-7 on the year. The Blugolds will next play a conference match at UW-River Falls at 7 p.m. Wednesday.