LA CROSSE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The UW-Eau Claire volleyball team had a tough time at Viterbo University, a team ranked No. 4 in the NAIA, falling 3-0 (25-7, 25-16, 25-19) tonight.
While the Blugolds got the first point in the opening set, Viterbo used a number of runs to build a large lead. It was close early at 6-4 in favor of the V-Hawks but they increased their lead quickly as the Blugolds were able to score just three more points.
The score remained close early in the second set and it was tied seven times, the last time being at 9-9. Viterbo then went on a five-point run and never looked back. The Blugolds were only able to close the gap to four points, twice after that.
Viterbo never trailed in the final set, jumping out to an 11-3 lead. The Blugolds worked their way back into the set and eventually cut the lead to just two (20-18) but after their 19th point, the V-Hawks closed out the match with a 4-0 run to secure the win.
The Blugolds came away with just 23 kills while Viterbo had 52. Katrina Raskie (So.-Weston, Wis./D.C. Everest) and Kelly Riesgraf (Jr.-Chaska, Minn.) tied for a team-high six kills. Riesgraf had a team-high .545 hitting percentage but the team combined to finish with a .074 hitting percentage to Viterbo's .386. Jenna Smits (Jr.-Green Bay, Wis./Preble) led the team with 10 digs and 18 set assists.
Eau Claire is now 4-5 on the season while Viterbo improves to 15-1.
Next up, the Blugolds will be at the Carthage College Tournament for four matches on Friday and Saturday. They will open the tournament against Elmhurst College (Ill.) at 6 p.m. Friday.