STEVENS POINT, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – While the UW-Eau Claire volleyball team defeated UW-Whitewater 3-1 two weeks ago, the Blugolds were unable to repeat as the Warhawks won 3-1 tonight in the semifinals of the WIAC Championship at Berg Gymnasium at UW-Stevens Point.
In a close opening set, Whitewater came away with the 25-23 victory. The largest lead either team could get was three points on multiple occasions and while Whitewater led 23-20, the Blugolds were able to fight back to tie it up before the Warhawks claimed the victory.
In the second set, the Blugolds led the entire way and won it 25-17. The Blugolds led by as many as eight points, four times.
The Blugolds dropped a heartbreaker in the third set, 29-27. After getting out to a 7-1 lead, Whitewater fought back and tied it at eight. Eau Claire was able to regain the lead and worked its way to a 20-13 lead, but the Warhawks got back into it and tied it up at 24. From there, the teams went back and forth before Whitewater won 29-27.
With the momentum in the fourth set, the Warhawks trailed just once at 2-1, but were able to regain the lead and stayed ahead the rest of the way, winning 25-14.
The Blugolds managed to hit .157 with 51 kills and 27 errors while Whitewater had 55 kills and 20 errors with a hitting percentage of .245.
Kelly Schuh (Sr.-Appleton, Wis./Hortonville) led the match with 16 kills while Katrina Raskie (Fr.-Weston, Wis./D.C. Everest) added 11. Lauren Sutherland (Sr.-Dayton, Minn./Meadow Creek Christian) finished with a match-best 22 digs and Maggie Holcombe (Fr.-Shakopee, Minn.) had 39 set assists.
Eau Claire is now 20-15 on the season while Whitewater improves to 27-10.
Saturday the Blugolds will face UW-La Crosse in the third-place match of the WIAC Championship. Action will get underway at noon. The championship match, which will feature UW-Whitewater and UW-Stevens Point, will be contested following the Blugolds' match with the Eagles.