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Eau Claire Caps Off Successful Nike/Eastbay Classic

Eau Claire Caps Off Successful Nike/Eastbay Classic

By: Jake Krier, UWEC Sports Information

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. ( - After the previous night's thrilling sweep over No. 12-ranked Bethel University, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Blugolds continued their winning ways on their home court. UW-Eau Claire rounded out this year's Nike/Eastbay Classic with another pair of wins.

The Blugolds started off the day with a win over Concordia-Moorhead (Minn.). Scores of 25-19, 25-17, and 25-20 topped the Cobbers.

The third straight win for Eau Claire came in large part due to the team's continued efficiency with their attack, hitting .327 in the match. Heather Sawchuk (Jr.-Roseville, MN/Cretin-Derham Hall) had a team-best 11 kills, and Emily Miller (Jr.-Prior Lake, MN) used a .643 attacking percentage on way to nine put-aways herself.

Madison Surprise (So.-Appleton, WI/Kimberly) and Emma Richter (Fr.-Mahtomedi, MN) split the setting load, as both accounted for 18 assists. Defensively, Talia Jaskulske (Jr.-Maplewood, MN/North St. Paul) led with 15 digs, and Mackenzee Pierog (Jr.-Eau Claire, WI/North) had 7 blocks.

The tournament finale against St. Norbert College may have ended the Blugolds' streak of three consecutive sweeps, but the result still favored UW-Eau Claire, as they were victorious 3-2 in the match.

The Green Knights rallied back with a late surge in the first set, yet the Blugolds fought hard en route to a 28-26 win. St. Norbert rebounded in set two with a 16-5 run to finish out the 25-17 frame win. Eau Claire picked up an important 25-19 victory in the third set, but falling 25-23 in set four forced a fifth and decisive final set. A back-and-forth affair ultimately ended with the Blugolds on top 15-13 in set five.

Sawchuk, Miller, Katrina Raskie (Sr.-Weston, WI/D.C. Everest), and Madelyn Pashibin (So.-Minneapolis, MN/Minneapolis Southwest) all finished with double-digit kills in the win. Sawchuk added double-digit digs with 13, with Jaskulske having a team-leading 21 in the match. Richter had 29 assists, while Surprise was right behind with 25.

Pashibin was selected to the All-Tournament Team for her efforts on the weekend.

Conference play begins on Wednesday, when the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse comes to town. Game time is at 7:00 from the McPhee Center. The match will also serve as Youth Night.

Follow the action for all sports this season on Blugold Game Day.

** All-Tournament Team Selections **

Bethel –  Tina Hoppe

Concordia Moorhead – Emily Friedrich

Lakeland – Emma Bruder

St. Norbert – Anika Johnson

St. Thomas – Whitney Lloyd & Katharine Mallak

UW-Eau Claire – Madelyn Pashibin

UW-Stevens Point – Gabby Thomas & Ellen Drewry

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