By: Jake Krier, UWEC Sports Information
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (blugolds.com) - Featuring two teams in the top-8 of the recently-released Midwest regional rankings, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire volleyball team met the Millikin University Big Blue early Friday evening. The match was both team's first in the weekend's Active Ankle Invitational from Washington University in St. Louis.
UW-Eau Claire never trailed in the opening set en route to winning 25-21. They out-hit Millikin .226 to .212 with Heather Sawchuk (Jr.-Roseville, MN/Cretin-Derham Hall) accounting for five of the 11 kills in the set. Emma Richter (Fr.-Mahtomedi, MN) posted a mark of nine assists and four digs, both team-highs.
Set two started off looking like one the Blugolds would need to forget about and move on after trailing early 13-4. However, a 12-3 run for Eau Claire tied it up and put themselves back in a position to win. From there, though, the Big Blue pulled it together and mirrored the Blugolds' first set with a 25-21 win to even the match.
The story of the third set was Millikin's 14-2 run after once trailing 14-9 in the frame. The Blugolds were able to cut back into the deficit, but it was too little, too late, resulting in a 25-19 defeat.
Eau Claire dug themselves a hole in set four, falling behind 18-11. Five straight points out of a timeout got the momentum back on their side, but yet again, they were unable to complete the comeback. The Blugolds dropped the set by another score of 25-21 and the match 3-1.
Sawchuk finished with 13 kills, Richter ended with 27 assists, and Kasey Schumacher (Jr.-Channahon, IL/Minooka Community) had 14 digs, all team-bests. The squad's hitting percentage dropped to .141 for the match.
The Blugolds wrap up the Active Ankle Invite on Saturday, featuring contests against Dubuque bright and early at 9:30 a.m. and Bowdoin at 1:30 p.m.Follow the action for all sports this season on Blugold Game Day.