COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. (Blugolds.com) – The UW-Eau Claire volleyball team opened the season at the College of Saint Benedict Labor Day Tournament today, dropping two matches 3-0.
Facing the University of Northwestern-St. Paul (Minn.) to start the season, the Blugolds fell 3-0, and against ninth-ranked Saint Benedict, also came up short 3-0.
In the opening match against Northwestern, the Blugolds dropped the opening set 25-20 before narrowly falling 27-25 in the second set. The Eagles then won the third set 25-18.
The Blugolds and Eagles kept it close early in the first set, but after a 5-5 tie, Northwestern used a 6-0 run to get up 11-5 and while the Blugolds got back to within two, a couple more runs by the Eagles were too much for Eau Claire to overcome.
Eau Claire came from behind in the second set and tied the score at 16 before the teams went back and forth the rest of the way. With the score tied at 25, Northwestern scored the final two points to secure the win. In the final set, the teams went back and forth early but two 5-0 runs during the set by the Eagles put the match too far out of reach for the Blugolds.
Against Saint Benedict, the Blugolds had trouble getting things going, falling 25-14, 25-17, 25-20.
Eau Claire led early in the first set, 5-3, but a 6-0 run by the Blazers put the Blugolds in a deficit they were unable to overcome. The Blugolds again led early in the second set but after a 4-4 tie, Saint Benedict scored the next two points and never trailed the rest of the way. In the final set, the Blugolds found themselves down 16-9 but used a 6-0 run to close the gap to just one. But the Blazers then had a 4-0 run and put the match out of reach for Eau Claire.
Katrina Raskie (So.-Weston, Wis./D.C. Everest) led the Blugolds in kills in both matches, 12 against Northwestern and seven against Saint Benedict. Jamie Dimka (Jr.-Wausau, Wis./East) led the match against the Eagles with 17 kills while Jenna Smits (Jr.-Green Bay, Wis./Preble) had a team-high 38 set assists. Facing the Blazers, Smits had a team-high 23 set assists while Megan Tracy (Sr.-New Hope, Minn./Robbinsdale Cooper) led the Blugolds with 15 digs.
Saturday the Blugolds will be in action against Concordia-Moorhead (Minn.) at 1 p.m. and will follow with a match against 16th-ranked Augsburg College (Minn.) to close the weekend.