EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The UW-Eau Claire women's volleyball team played 24th-ranked UW-Stevens Point close the entire match but the Pointers came out on top 3-2 in the McPhee Physical Education Center tonight.
In the opening set, the Blugolds built a 19-11 lead but Stevens Point scored six in a row to make it 19-17. After back and forth battles, Eau Claire eventually came out on top 28-26.
The second and third sets belonged to the Pointers, who won 25-21 and 25-19, respectively. The Blugolds' only lead in the second set was a 4-3 lead early and Stevens Point got up by as much as 21-13 before Eau Claire closed the gap at the end. In the third set, Eau Claire led 15-9 at one point but Stevens Point outscored the Blugolds 15-2 over the next several minutes to build a 24-17 lead before closing with the 25-19 win.
Eau Claire fought back in the fourth set and won 25-18. This time Stevens Point led 13-11 before an Eau Claire run which gave the Blugolds an 18-14 lead. The rest of the way, the Blugolds outscored the Pointers 7-4 to take the win and even the match at 2-2.
In the final set, it was back and forth the entire way. The teams found themselves tied at 11 but the Pointers went on to outscore the Blugolds 4-1 and win the set 15-12 for a 3-2 match victory.
Neither team hit very well but the Blugolds slightly edged the Pointers .101-.091. Anne Satterlee (Sr.-Green Bay, Wis./Ashwaubenon) led the match with 17 kills while two other Blugolds found their way to double figures.
Five Blugolds reached double figures in digs with Lauren Sutherland (Jr.-Dayton, Minn./Meadow Creek Christian) leading the way with a match-high 28. Emily Neave (Sr.-Salem, Wis./Westosha Central) led the match with 44 set assists.
Blocking was a key to the Pointers' success tonight. They finished with 23.5 blocks while the Blugolds had six. Stevens Point is currently ranked fifth in Division III in blocks per set.
The Blugolds, who had played two five-set matches this season coming into tonight and won both, fall to 9-6 overall and 1-1 in the conference. Stevens Point improves to 12-3 on the season and 1-0 in the WIAC. Prior to tonight, Eau Claire had won 22 straight over the Pointers, who last defeated the Blugolds on September 19, 1998.
Saturday Eau Claire will host UW-Whitewater, a team ranked 13th in the nation, for the Blugolds' Alumni Day. Action will get underway at noon in McPhee.