By Emily Simonson, UWEC Sports Information
ST. PETER, Minn. (Blugolds.com) – After dropping the regular season finale to the University of St. Thomas, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire volleyball team (29-3) looked for redemption and defeated the UST Tommies in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Championship 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-18).
After a very back-and-forth first set, UW-Eau Claire went on a 7-0 run to start the second set, with the help of a serving streak by Amber Karn (Sr. – Middleton, WI), and didn't look back. Set three began with some strong Blugold defense and an early lead of 11-2. Match point came from an attack error by the Tommies.
Defensive standouts in the match were Taylor Scalia (So. – Lake Elmo, MN/Stillwater) who recorded 15 digs and Makenzie Bachmann (So. – Chaska, MN) who had 14. Together, the Blugolds had an impressive 47 digs. UW-Eau Claire also racked up a match total of ten blocks.
On the offensive side of things, Madelyn Pashibin (Sr. – Minneapolis, MN/Southwest) led the way with 14 kills. Arianna Barrett (Fr. – Lakeville, MN/North) contributed 13 kills and ended the match with .524 hitting percentage. Madison Surprise (Sr. – Appleton, WI/Kimberly) tallied 49 assists in the game.
The Blugolds (30-3) are set to play defending national champions Claremont-Mudd-Scripps tomorrow, Nov. 10, at 1:30 pm in St Peter, MN. The two teams met last year on Sept. 2 at the Pacific Coast Classic, which resulted in a loss for the Blugolds.