RIVER FALLS, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - With a decisive 3-0 victory over UW-River Falls tonight, the 16th-ranked UW-Eau Claire volleyball team became co-champion of the WIAC and won the fourth conference title in Blugold volleyball history.
After the win, the Blugolds improved to 7-1 in the conference, which tied them for first place with co-champion UW-Oshkosh. The award marks the third time in the last five seasons that Eau Claire has shared the WIAC title with Oshkosh. In the 2006-07 and 2008-09 season, the Blugolds also tied for first with 7-1 records.
In the upcoming WIAC Tournament beginning Nov. 2, Eau Claire will be the top seed because of a 3-1 victory over UW-Oshkosh on Oct. 15. This achievement earns the Blugolds a first-round bye as well as the privilege of hosting the semifinal and final events on Nov. 5 and 6.
In tonight's crucial match against the Falcons, the Blugolds returned to their winning ways after dropping two consecutive matches over the weekend. It was a back-and-forth battle, but the Blugolds came out on top 25-22 in the first set then quickly gained the 25-17 victory in the second. In the third set, Eau Claire let an early five-point lead slide into the grasp of the Falcons, but the Blugolds rebounded to get the 25-21 victory and secure their place in the WIAC co-championship.
Blair Murphy (Sr.-Hermantown, Minn.) nailed a match-high 15 digs. Amanda Lessner (Sr.-Watertown, Wis.) also tallied 10 digs and accounted for all 36 of the Blugolds' assists. Elizabeth Anderson (Jr.-Rib Lake, Wis.) and Rachel Ver Voort (Sr.-Madison, Wis./Middleton) led both teams with 11 and 10 respective kills en route to the win.
The Blugolds will hit the road Friday and Saturday for the Trinity National Invitational in San Antonio, Texas. Eau Claire will begin the two-day tournament with a match against University of Texas-Dallas at 1 p.m. Friday.