By Bryce Meade, UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire volleyball team topped the UW-Stevens Point Pointers in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) semifinals (presented by Culver's) on Thursday evening 3-1 (26-24, 14-25, 29-27, 25-18).
Despite trailing early the entire first set, and 23-18 at one point, the Blugolds were able to stage a late comeback to steal a 1-0 advantage. A pair of crucial blocks from Makenzie Bachmann (So. – Chaska, MN) and Abby Volk (Fr. – Willmar, MN) gave the Blugolds their 25th and 26th point.
The Pointers took the second set 25-14, evening the count. Eau Claire started slow once again in the third set, trailing 10-6. A quick 4-1 run, powered by three Madelyn Pashibin (Sr. – Minneapolis, MN/Southwest) kills, evened the score at 11. The Pointers responded and looked positioned to win the set, leading 24-22, but the Blugolds put together a 7-3 run to win their second set of the night.
The Blugolds put the Pointers away in decisive fashion, 25-18, in the fourth set. Eau Claire held the Pointers to a .154 hitting percentage in the final set.
Pashibin recorded 18 kills on the evening to lead the Blugolds. Bachmann, Volk, and Arianna Barrett (Fr. – Lakeville, MN/North) each registered double digit kills as well. Taylor Scalia (So. – Lake Elmo, MN/Stillwater) added 18 digs for the Blugolds, while Bachmann and Madison Surprise (Sr. – Appleton, WI/Kimberly) recorded 11 each.
The Blugolds will host the UW-Whitewater Warhawks this Saturday at 6 PM in the WIAC Championship tournament final, with the winner earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Blugolds defeated the Warhawks 3-1 on October 26th. Follow the action on Blugold Game Day or on the 'UWEC Blugolds' app on your mobile device.