SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Blugolds.com) - The No. 16-ranked UW-Eau Claire volleyball team grabbed two wins against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps College (Calif.) and Trinity University (Texas) and an All-Tournament Team selection to put a positive finish to the Trinity University Invitational.
The Blugolds narrowly topped Claremont by set score of 3-2 and overcame Trinity 3-1.
The Blugolds claimed the early sets against Claremont, earning a close 26-24 victory in the first and a crushing 25-13 win in the second. But the Athenas didn't go down without a fight; they came back to take the next two sets 25-20, 25-21. In the deciding fifth set, Eau Claire regained its form and beat Claremont 15-10.
In the marathon match, Blair Murphy (Sr.-Hermantown, Minn.) led the team with 25 digs. Amanda Lessner (Sr.-Watertown, Wis.) recorded the second-most digs with 14 and also made a match-leading 54 assists. Four Eau Claire players also crossed into double-digit kills, with Laura Slinger (Jr.-Faribault, Minn./Bethlehem Academy) and Anne Satterlee (So.-Green Bay, Wis./Ashwaubenon) leading with 16 and 15, respectively. The Blugolds also made 12 team blocks to the Athenas' four.
Like the Claremont match, Eau Claire came out strong in the match against Trinity. The Blugolds quickly claimed a 25-16 first set victory. But the tables turned, and the Tigers earned a 25-15 win in the second. Compared to the lopsided scores of the first sets, the final sets were close competitions. Eau Claire was the victor, though, and beat the Tigers 25-21, 29-27 to win the match.
En route to the win, Murphy was just two digs shy of her first match total with 23 digs. Rachel Ver Voort (Sr.-Madison, Wis./Middleton) added another 11 digs while Lessner made 39 assists. Liz Amici (Jr.-Whitewater, Wis.) recorded a match-high 12 kills and Satterlee and Slinger contributed another 11 each.
Murphy was one of six players honored with selection to the All-Tournament team. During the four-match weekend, Murphy accumulated 73 digs, a total which was powered by her 48 digs in today's matches.
At the end of the invitational, the Blugolds tied for the best team record (3-1). The team's set record of 10-7 put Eau Claire just shy of New York University's 9-7 set record. The weekend wins boost the Blugolds to 19-8 on the season.
Next weekend the Blugolds will travel to River Falls for the two-day UW-River Falls Trick-or-Treat Classic. Eau Claire will play its first match against UW-Superior at 4 p.m. Friday.