Panthers Rally Past Hokies For Sixth-Straight Win
Sept. 7, 2007
MILWAUKEE - Jamie Gabrielsen had 23 kills and Leanne Felsing tallied another triple-double as the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee claimed a 28-30, 30-16, 30-26, 30-28 win over Virginia Tech on the first day of the Panther Invitational.
Felsing collected 18 kills, 18 digs and 24 assists to help the Panthers (6-1) to their sixth-straight win. UWM's defense was also stellar, as four players reached double figures in digs while freshman Natalie Schmitting tallied 10 blocks.
Taylor Parrish, Jen Albrecht and Felicia Willoughby had 11 kills apiece to lead Virginia Tech (5-3).
"I was so impressed with how the team pushed and fought," UWM head coach Susie Johnson said. "We really stayed steady and stayed calm late in the third and fourth games. They knew what they needed to do and they went out and executed it. I am proud of them."
The Panthers pulled out the third game thanks to a late surge. UWM led 19-16 and 25-21 only to see the Hokies tie the game at 25. But, a kill by Felsing made it 26-25 and the Panthers then added three more points to lead 29-25. A Virginia Tech block made it 29-26 before another kill by Felsing finished things off.
UWM then had to battle again in game four, using a late rally to seal the match. The Panthers trailed 16-13, 21-19 and 27-25 before surging for the win. Kills by Felsing and Becky Peters tied the game at 27 and, after the teams traded points, two kills by Gabrielsen finished things off.
The two teams split the first two games. UWM led early and then nearly rallied late to pull out the win in the first game. The Panthers claimed a 15-13 lead on a Hokie error and still led 21-19 after a kill by Schmitting. But, Virginia Tech rallied to claim a 28-23 lead after a run of four-straight points. The Panthers did pull to within 28-27 and again to within 29-28 but a kill by Albrecht finished things off for the Hokies.
Milwaukee then dominated the second game. The Panthers took the lead for good at 12-11 on a Virginia Tech error and extended the lead to 15-11 on another error. The serving of Leanne Felsing then took over, as she recorded four aces during a 7-0 run that turned the game into a rout. A block by Schmitting and Gabrielsen pushed the lead to 29-15 before a Hokie service error finished things off.
"Leanne was just so good again. She really does do everything and she is such a solid competitor," Johnson said. "She knows what she needs to do and she does it. I think sometimes we take Becky and Lauren for granted, too, and the defense they deliver. To have them both on the court at the same time is such a bonus for us."
In the first match of the day, Cincinnati (6-2) had to battle in all three frames in claiming a 31-29, 30-27, 30-28 win over Bradley. Jessie Nevitt had 21 kills and hit .571 to lead the Bearcats, who overcame 30 hitting errors and nine service errors to claim the win. Melissa Collins had 11 kills to lead the Braves (1-7).
The second session of the Panther Invitational gets underway at 4:30 p.m. with Virginia Tech taking on Bradley. UWM and Cincinnati will then square off at 7 p.m.