MENOMONIE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – After moving up to No. 13 in the latest AVCA poll on Tuesday, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire volleyball team notched another win on Wednesday, defeating UW-Stout, 3-2 (24-26, 22-25, 25-18, 25-20, 15-11).
After dropping the first two sets 26-24 and 25-22, the Blugolds came back strong in set three, 25-18. In the forth set, the Blue Devils took an early lead 8-3, forcing a Blugold timeout. After Stout scored once more, Eau Claire went on a run to take a 12-11 lead. Though Stout was able to tie the score once more at 12-12, the Blugolds would pull away to win the set, 25-20, and force the decisive fifth set.
In the final set, the Blue Devils scored the first point but the Blugolds tallied the next three. After trading points and a tie score at 6-6, Eau Claire went on a 6-0 run that included two aces by Madison Surprise (Sr. – Appleton, WI/Kimberly). Arianna Barrett (Fr. – Lakeville, MN/North) would record three kills down the stretch, including the last point of the match to seal the victory.
Barrett led the Blugolds with a career-high 22 kills and recorded a hitting percentage of .360 on the night. Madelyn Pashibin (Sr.- Minneapolis, MN/Southwest) also finished with double-digit kills, tallying 17 while Makenzie Bachmann (So. – Chaska, MN) chipped in nine. The sophomore also had a career-high 25 digs.
Taylor Scalia (So. – Lake Elmo, MN/Stillwater) was just shy of 20 digs, finishing with 19, while Surprise had 53 assists, 11 digs and seven kills in the win. Krista Meyer (So. – Germantown, WI) tallied a game-high seven block assists while Barrett and Pashibin each added four.
The No. 13 Blugolds (26-2, 6-0 WIAC) will play for the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) regular season title and number one seed in the conference tournament on Friday night as they host No. 18 UW-Whitewater (22-5, 6-0) at 7 p.m. Follow the action on Blugold Game Day or on the 'UWEC Blugolds' app on your mobile device.