Stellar Fourth Set Propels Panthers Past William & Mary
Aug. 25, 2012
DURHAM, NC - Rachel Neuberger had 18 kills and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee saved its best play of the day for the fourth set as the Panthers claimed a 26-24, 19-25, 25-22, 25-16 win over William & Mary Saturday afternoon on the second day of the Duke Invitational.
Milwaukee (2-0) hit .280 and stepped up its defense in the deciding frame, taking control of a match that had been tight through the first three sets.
Julie Kolinske added 13 kills and Elizabeth Egerer 12 for Milwaukee, which hit .207 for the match. The Panthers did control the Tribe (0-2) defensively throughout the contest, limiting William & Mary to a .169 hitting clip, including just .029 in the final set.
Liz Brown had 15 kills to lead William & Mary (0-2).
The Panthers battled all afternoon long, never totally getting on track but doing enough to secure a second-straight win to open the season.
"That was a match where we had to figure things out," Milwaukee head coach Susie Johnson said. "They were pushing us the whole time, so I was proud of the team because we had to work it out. We had to figure out what to do and make some changes. People had to work through having some negative things happen."
UWM pulled out a hard-fought opening-set win. The Panthers led much of the early going, jumping out 12-8 following kills by Maggie Dunbar and Neuberger and again went up 16-13 with a run highlighted by a Kolinske kill. The Tribe struck back, though, claiming a 20-19 lead on a block and eventually had a game-point opportunity at 24-23. But Dunbar answered with a kill to get the Panthers back on track before a pair of William & Mary errors pushed Milwaukee to victory.
William & Mary bounced back to win the second set and even the match. Milwaukee actually jumped out to a fast start, building early leads of 4-0 and 10-5. But the Tribe wound up scoring 20 of the final 29 points of the frame to finish things out. They took the lead for good at 12-11 and pushed the lead to 21-14 on a Milwaukee hitting error. The Panthers were able to close to within 23-19 following a Kolinske kill and a Tribe error, but a pair of kills by William & Mary wrapped things up.
The Panthers went back ahead in the match by pulling out the third set. Milwaukee looked like it might have an easy time of things, building leads of 9-5, 17-9 and 19-11. But the Tribe came storming back, pulling within 21-20 on a kill by Brown. UWM was able to hang in there, though, with a kill by Kolinske settling Milwaukee down before kills from Neuberger and Egerer closed things out.
Milwaukee then rode that late momentum into the fourth set, pulling away to win the match. UWM never trailed, going up for good at 10-9 when Golabowski's overpass found the ground. The lead grew to 15-10 on a kill by Egerer and then hit 20-11 after Milwaukee defense during a long rally eventually forced a William & Mary error. In the end, it was the 13th kill of the day by Kolinske that finished things off.
Milwaukee wraps up play in the Duke Invitational Saturday night, squaring off with the host Blue Devils. The match will decide the tournament champion, as both teams have won their first two matches of the event.