By: Jake Krier, UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (blugolds.com) - After losing two straight for the first time all year, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire volleyball team had a fresh start Friday night as the No. 22-ranked squad returned home for the Sandy Schumacher Memorial Tournament.
In the tournament opener, the Blugolds played host to Gustavus Adolphus College. The Gusties were fresh off a five-set loss to UW-Oshkosh earlier in the day and entered the match with a 15-5 record. In another five-setter, this time Gustavus left as the victors, handing the Blugolds their first home loss this season.
The story of the match was UW-Eau Claire having to play catch-up in each set. They were able to mount comeback wins in sets one and four, yet ultimately fell short. Even after moving ahead 13-11 in the final set, Eau Claire was unable to complete the job. Gustavus put up four straight points to win the match. Scores for the thrilling five-set match were 25-23, 15-25, 17-25, 25-23, and 13-15.
Averaging nearly ten assists per set, Madison Surprise (So.-Appleton, WI/Kimberly) accounted for an impressive 49 in the match. Talia Jaskulske (Jr.-Maplewood, MN/North Saint Paul) had a team-high 28 digs. Heather Sawchuk (Jr.-Roseville, MN/Cretin-Derham Hall) led the team in kills with 16, and Madelyn Pashibin's (So.-Minneapolis, MN/Minneapolis Southwest) 12 kills were good for a .450 attacking percentage.
The Blugolds conclude the Sandy Schumacher Memorial Tournament with matches against Martin Luther College (12 pm) and UW-Superior (4 pm) Saturday afternoon.
Follow the action for all sports this season on Blugold Game Day.