MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (Blugolds.com) - In the second day of competition, the UW-Eau Claire volleyball team split its games and brought home a second place finish in the 29th annual Augsburg Invitational.
After defeating both of its opponents yesterday, the Blugolds first beat Augsburg College (Minn.) 3-0 but succumbed to the University of St. Thomas 3-2 in the championship match.
Though Eau Claire won all three sets, the match against host Augsburg was a tight one. Eau Claire eventually took the first set 28-26. The second and third sets were also closely contested but the Blugolds came out on top with twin scores of 25-21 to make a sweep of the Auggies.
Rachel Ver Voort (Sr.-Madison, Wis./Middleton) and Blair Murphy (Sr.-Hermantown, Minn.), who were both named to the All-Tournament team, each made 15 digs in the match, while Ver Voort also led the Blugolds with 11 kills. Amanda Lessner (Sr.-Watertown, Wis.) also made contributions for the Blugolds, making all 34 of Eau Claire's assists.
The win over Augsburg made the Blugolds one of only two teams who had yet to lose a match at the invite. As a result, Eau Claire advanced to the championship match against 15th-ranked St. Thomas. The entire match was a back-and-forth fight. The Blugolds dropped the first set 25-15, but evened the score by winning the second 25-22.
Again the teams flip-flopped, with the Tommies taking control of the match with a 25-18 victory in the third set. The Blugolds fought back to win the fourth (25-22) and force the fifth set, but fell just short in the end, losing the set 15-12.
In the championship match, Ver Voort led the team with 17 kills while Lessner again had a team-high 40 assists. Three Blugolds also racked up double digit digs. Murphy led the team with 21 while Ver Voort and Elizabeth Anderson (Jr.-Rib Lake, Wis.) contributed 13 and 11, respectively. Stunningly, the Tommies made 134 digs to Eau Claire's total of 60 during the five sets.
Despite the loss, the Blugolds still earned second place in the tournament, improving from their third place finish last year. In addition, the 12th-ranked team now boasts a 6-2 seasonal record.
This Wednesday, the Blugolds will host a match against UW-Stout. Competition is set to begin at 7 p.m. in the McPhee Physical Education Center.