Beavers Claim Hard-Fought Win Over Panthers
Sept. 21, 2008
MILWAUKEE - Rachel Rourke had 20 kills and Lexie Rathgeber added 12 as Oregon State captured a hard-fought 25-20, 26-24, 17-25, 25-15 win over the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Sunday afternoon at the Al McGuire Center.
Becky Peters had a collegiate-best 24 kills to lead Milwaukee (8-4), which hung tough with an Oregon State team that beat #13 Wisconsin Saturday night and has won 11 of its first 13 matches this season.
Maddie Sueppel also added 12 kills and hit .391 for the Panthers, who lost for just the second time in their last nine outings.
The Beavers (11-2) controlled play at the net, collecting 15 blocks while forcing a total of 28 UWM hitting errors. But, Milwaukee's defense again kept it in the match against a much taller opponent, as Lauren Felsing (18 digs), Lauren Hintze (17) and Peters (14) all reached double figures in digs. And, Samantha Trawitzke directed the Panthers' offense with 44 assists as Milwaukee recorded 57 kills to 48 by the Beavers.
"That was the best team we have played all year," UWM head coach Susie Johnson said. "I thought Oregon State had to play very well to beat us. I am proud of how Sam stepped up and ran the offense, allowing our hitters to really go after it. Becky did a great job of finding kills against a much bigger team. Our defense was also very good again. We were digging a lot of balls and it really required Oregon State to rethink what they had to do to put the ball away."
UWM could never get over the hump in the first set. After a slow start led the Panthers into an 8-2 hole, Milwaukee fought back to within 10-8 on a pair of OSU errors and an ace by Hintze. The Beavers rebuilt a four-point lead only to see the Panthers close back to within a point at 17-16 and again at 18-17. But, OSU again reestablished a five-point advantage and UWM would get no closer than two points late in the set.
Milwaukee again found itself fighting from behind in the second set, but had a great opportunity to even the match. After falling into a 10-6 hole, the Panthers rallied to within 12-10 on back-to-back kills by Peters. UWM was still within two at 17-15 on a kill by Mary Beth O'Brien and eventually pulled within a point at 20-19 on a Peters kill. The teams traded the next four points before OSU pushed back out to a 24-22 lead on the second of UWM's late service errors. Milwaukee made one more surge, fighting off a pair of set-points on kills by O'Brien and Peters to even the frame at 24. But, a kill by Rathgeber and a UWM ball-handling error gave the Beavers a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Panthers got back in the match with a dominating performance in the third set, hitting .324 in the frame while limiting the Beavers to a .070 hitting clip. UWM bolted to a 7-3 lead following kills by Natalie Schmitting and Peters and extended its edge to 12-6 on back-to-back kills by Sueppel. The lead grew to 19-9 on another kill by Peters and OSU never got closer than seven points after that. Peters' seventh kills of the set eventually wrapped things up for the Panthers.
Oregon State wasted little time in regaining the momentum of the match in the fourth set. The Beavers scored six of the first eight points in the frame and, after UWM closed to within 9-7 on a block by Sueppel and Kerri Schuh, OSU pushed its lead to 14-8 on an ace by Bree Knitter and UWM never got closer than five points the rest of the way.
The Panthers will return to action Friday night, hosting Butler in a 7 p.m. contest at the Klotsche Center. Valparaiso then comes to Milwaukee Saturday afternoon to wrap up what is a key early-season weekend of league action.