Panthers Wrap Up Weekend With Three-Set Sweep Of East Carolina
Sept. 1, 2012
MILWAUKEE - Three players reached double figures in kills and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee limited East Carolina to a .080 hitting percentage en route to a 25-16, 25-23, 25-21 win Saturday night in the final match of the Panther Invitational.
Elizabeth Egerer led Milwaukee's offense with 13 kills while Julie Kolinske added 12 and Rachel Neuberger 10. Neuberger added five blocks while hitting .625 in securing a spot on the all-tournament team.
UWM's back row defense included four players in double figures in digs, led by 17 from Anna Bartz and 16 from Kolinske.
Milwaukee (4-3) was dominant early in the match before holding off a game East Carolina squad over the final two sets.
Hannah Allgood led the Pirates (1-5) with 11 kills.
UWM wound up splitting its four weekend matches in the tournament, bouncing back nicely from a pair of five-set losses Friday with two 3-set sweeps Saturday.
"I think this team has bought in to the fact that we are learning as we go," Milwaukee head coach Susie Johnson said. "You don't have to be happy with a loss, you don't have to like losing, but we have to learn and have to move on and we did a great job of that today."
Perhaps the biggest difference from Friday to Saturday was Milwaukee's work in closing out sets.
"That was the goal for today, to finish those games, finish those sets after 20 points," Johnson said. "That's what we lacked yesterday and that was a good change.
Saturday night against East Carolina, UWM was dominant in the first set. The Panthers broke out to a 14-7 lead and never looked back. Milwaukee was still up 18-12 after a block by Neuberger and Kolinske and extended the edge to 23-14 on a kill by Egerer. The Panthers then closed things out on a kill by Hannah Blanchard and an ace by Bartz.
The Panthers nearly let the second set slip away. They trailed 7-1 out of the gates but recovered to take a 14-11 lead on a kill by Kolinske. UWM then led 20-16 after an ECU error and 24-20 on another Pirate error. But ECU was able to close to within 24-23 before a kill by Egerer put Milwaukee ahead by two sets.
Milwaukee took a 15-14 lead midway through the third set on a kill by Neuberger and extended it to 20-17 on an ECU error. The advantage was 23-19 after a block by Blanchard and Neuberger and a kill from Egerer then ended the match.
In the first match of Saturday's evening session, Western Michigan rolled to a three-set win over Bradley to claim the tournament title. Lena Oliver was named the tournament's most valuable player as the Broncos finished the weekend 3-0. The Braves finished 2-1.
UWM returns to action next weekend, making the short trip west to Madison for the InnTowner Invitational. The Panthers will face North Dakota State Friday before taking on Drake and the host Wisconsin Badgers Saturday.