September 6, 2013

Volleyball Splits on First Day of Augsburg Invitational

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (Blugolds.com) – After falling to No. 1-ranked University of St. Thomas (Minn.) to start the day at the Augsburg College Invitational, the UW-Eau Claire volleyball team recovered to defeat Augsburg on day one of the invitational at Si Melby Hall today.

Augsburg Invitational Website

Facing the Tommies, the Blugolds fell 3-0 while defeating the Auggies 3-1.

Eau Claire didn't lead in the first two sets against St. Thomas, but the third was the closest. In set one, St. Thomas won 25-22 and jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the second set, before winning 25-14. In the third set, the Tommies took the initial lead but it stayed close early. The Blugolds took a 19-15 lead after using a 5-0 run but St. Thomas closed strong with a 5-0 run of its own to help in the 25-22 win.

Kelly Schuh (Sr.-Appleton, Wis./Hortonville) led the match with 16 kills while hitting .364. Lauren Sutherland (Sr.-Dayton, Minn./Meadow Creek Christian) had a team-high 14 digs and Jenna Smits (So.-Green Bay, Wis./Preble) finished with a team-best 17 set assists.

Against Augsburg, the Blugolds won the first two sets while the Auggies won the third. Down 11-4 in the opening set, the Blugolds tied it up at 15 and then went on to win 25-20. The second set was again closely contested and the teams worked their way to a 22-22 tie before the Blugolds came away with the 26-24 win.

In the third set, while Eau Claire jumped out to a 3-0 lead and led at one time 15-9, the Auggies fought back and outscored the Blugolds 16-3 the rest of the way to win the third set 25-18.

Again the Blugolds jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the fourth set and found themselves up 15-14 at the midway point. But this time the Blugolds outscored the Auggies 10-2 to win the set 25-16 and the match 3-1.

Three Blugolds reached double figures in kills with Schuh leading the match with 15. Sutherland led four Blugolds in double figures with 19 kills while Smits led the team with 24 set assists.

Eau Claire finished the match against Augsburg with 11 service aces, four from Alexis Wong (Jr.-Maple Grove, Minn.) while Schuh and Maggie Holcombe (Fr.-Shakopee, Minn.) each recorded three. Wong also led the match against the Tommies with two service aces.

The Blugolds are now 3-4 on the season.

Tomorrow the Blugolds will play two more matches, opening the day against the University of Northwestern-St. Paul (Minn.) at 10 a.m. and closing the day against Gustavus Adolphus College (Minn.) at 2 p.m.

-KM-