STEVENS POINT, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The UW-Eau Claire volleyball won its fifth straight match, which was also its second straight over a nationally ranked team, to capture the 2012 WIAC Championship title, earning the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.
The Blugolds upset top-seeded and 20th-ranked UW-Stevens Point 3-0 in the final match of the WIAC Championship, the first time in school history the Blugolds have captured the post-season championship crown. Friday night, the Blugolds beat 18th-ranked and third-seeded UW-Whitewater 3-1 to advance to the final match.
Eau Claire and Stevens Point played fairly close in all three sets but the Blugolds won with scores of 25-18, 25-21, and 25-18, respectively.
In the first set, the scores were close but after Eau Claire got up 12-11, the Blugolds outscored the Pointers 13-7 the rest of the way to capture the win.
In the second set, the teams played to a 16-16 tie but the Blugolds managed to outscore Stevens Point 9-5 the rest of the way.
In the third set, the Pointers jumped out to a 4-0 lead but the Blugolds went on a 7-0 run to take a 7-4 lead and never trailed again. The score was tied at seven, 11 and 12 but after the 12-12 tie, Eau Claire outscored the Pointers 13-6 for the win.
Amy Bomgren (Sr.-Woodbury, Minn.) led the match with 12 kills while Kelly Schuh (Jr.-Appleton, Wis./Hortonville) added 10. As a team, the Blugolds recorded 42 kills to 28 for the Pointers and outhit Stevens Point .227-.045.
Schuh led three Blugolds in double figures with 13 digs while Emily Neave (Sr.-Salem, Wis./Westosha Central) had 37 set assists to lead the match.
The 3-0 victory over the Pointers was the Blugolds' first since 2009. UW-Stevens Point won the earlier meeting this year 3-2 on the Blugolds' home court. Eau Claire is now 25-11 on the season while Stevens Point is 29-7.
Thursday, the NCAA Championship will get underway. Locations and the complete field will be announced Monday on NCAA.com with a selection show beginning at 11 a.m. Eastern.