STEVENS POINT, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The UW-Eau Claire women's volleyball team defeated 18th-ranked and No. 2-seeded UW-Whitewater 3-1 in a semifinal match of the 2012 WIAC Championship at Berg Gymnasium in Stevens Point today.
The Blugolds got off to a good start against the Warhawks, winning the first two sets with scores of 25-23 and 25-18, respectively. But in the third set, the Warhawks defeated the Blugolds 25-13 before Eau Claire won a long fourth set 32-30 to take the match.
In the opening set, Whitewater held a lead the majority of the match but the Blugolds tied it up at 18 after using an 11-5 run. The teams then went back and forth and Eau Claire took its first lead of the set at 21-20 and went on to win 25-23.
The second set started similar to the first, and after Whitewater led early, the Blugolds tied it up at eight and then took a lead they would not give up the rest of the way. Eau Claire won the set 25-18.
In the third set, while it was close early, the Warhawks steadily increased their lead throughout and built a 20-9 lead and went on to win 25-13.
The fourth set was an exciting one from the start. The teams went back and forth initially but the Blugolds began to pull away a little, taking an 11-5 lead. Whitewater chipped away at the Blugolds' lead and tied it at 19, and the teams then went back and forth again before the Blugolds finally pulled off the 32-30 victory.
Amy Bomgren (Sr.-Woodbury, Minn.) led the Blugolds with 17 kills. Lauren Sutherland (Jr.-Dayton, Minn./Meadow Creek Christian) led the team with 16 digs and Emily Neave (Sr.-Salem, Wis./Westosha Central) had a team-high 45 set assists.
Both Eau Claire and Whitewater are now 24-11 on the season. In the match between the two teams earlier this year, the Warhawks won 3-2.