Schmitting Sparks Panthers Past Raiders
Sept. 22, 2007
MILWAUKEE - Natalie Schmitting tallied a collegiate-best 19 kills and Jamie Gabrielsen added 14 to go with 17 digs as the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee captured a 30-25, 30-23, 30-25 win over Wright State Saturday afternoon at the Klotsche Center.
The Panthers (13-1, 4-0 Horizon) have won 13-straight matches.
Schmitting's 19 kills came thanks a collegiate-best .760 hitting percentage. Meanwhile, Leanne Felsing added nine kills, 10 digs and 44 assists, just missing out on her fourth-consecutive triple-double.
Alisha Kimbro had 15 kills to lead Wright State (4-11, 2-2), which has dropped two-straight after opening league play 2-0.
"The team really came out to play. I think they knew Wright State would come out tough and we responded," UWM head coach Susie Johnson said. "Natalie was certainly the big star today and I thought Leanne did a great job in general of connecting with our middles."
The Panthers had to battle to pull out the first game. In fact, there were 16 ties in the first frame, with the final one coming at 17-all after a kill by Kimbro. But, the Panthers pushed out to a 21-18 lead on a kill by Peters and extended the edge to 26-20 on a kill by Felsing. The Raiders did pull back to within 28-25 before a WSU error followed by another Felsing kill wrapped things up for Milwaukee.
UWM looked to be in control of game two, bolting out to an 11-3 lead behind the serving of Felsing. But, after eventually trailing 20-11, Wright State rallied to within 23-22. The Panthers took control from there, scoring seven of the final eight points of the game to claim the win. Nicole Vilter had two kills during the run, which also included the first service ace in the collegiate career of Lauren Hintze.
The Panthers then wrapped up the match with a tough win in the third frame. UWM built an early 11-7 lead after a kill by Gabrielsen only to see the Raiders rally to within 16-15. But, Milwaukee used kills by Peters, Gabrielsen and Schmitting to rebuild a 20-16 edge and then hung on. Back-to-back blocks involving Maddie Sueppel made it 27-21 and kills by Felsing and Gabrielsen then wrapped up the game and match.
"The defense again played a big part in our success, and Leanne is such a threat offensively even when she is setting all the time," Johnson said. "We also got some nice contributions from Lauren Hintze with her serving and Natalie Chery subbing into the front row, so it was a good team win and a good weekend."
UWM will hit the road next weekend, playing at Youngstown State Friday before squaring off with Cleveland State Saturday.