Panthers Roll To Three-Set Win At UIC
Myanna Ruiz

Myanna Ruiz

Oct. 4, 2013

Box Score

CHICAGO - Myanna Ruiz and Rachel Neuberger had 11 kills apiece as the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee collected a 25-23, 25-16, 25-15 win at UIC Friday night.

The Panthers (7-8, 3-0 Horizon) hit .301 for the match and were never really threatened after winning a hard-fought first set.

In fact, Milwaukee hit .355 in the final two frames and completely shut down the Flames (5-12, 0-2), who hit just .103 for the match. Ruiz and Taylor Golabowski had 11 digs apiece, while reigning league defensive player of the week Neuberger had a part in six of Milwaukee's seven blocks.

UWM again had great balance on offense as setter Kayla Price (39 assists) spread the ball around. Julie Kolinske added nine kills, Hannah Blanchard seven and Nicole Latzig six.

Sara Sternard had eight kills to lead UIC.

"I think our block improved and it really made a difference," Milwaukee head coach Susie Johnson said. "That was the goal from the beginning, but sometimes it just takes a while to get used to people and get used to different hitters. That really helped and I think that brought the confidence back for everything. It was a great match - very solid."

Milwaukee won a hard-fought first set by riding the lead much of the way. The Panthers jumped out to an early 9-6 lead after a three-point burst, highlighted by two Neuberger kills. Milwaukee still led 10-7 after another Neuberger kill before UIC turned the tables with a 7-1 burst, claiming a 14-11 advantage. UWM struck right back, scoring four in a row for a 15-14 advantage before taking the lead for good at 16-15 on a Ruiz kill. The Panthers eventually led by as many as four points before UIC fought back to forge a 22-all tie. Milwaukee had the final answer, though, with a kill from Latzig putting the Panthers back ahead for good before a kill from Kolinske ended the set.

The Panthers controlled the second set. UWM grabbed an 8-3 lead following a Neuberger kill and was still up 12-7 following a kill from Ruiz. UIC did counter with four in a row to pull within 12-11, but the Flames would never get the lead. Instead, Milwaukee scored the next four points to claim a 16-11 advantage and then went ahead 19-13 on another Ruiz kill. The lead hit 23-14 on an ace by Golabowski and then kills from Latzig and Blanchard finished things off.

The Panthers then finished off the match with a dominating performance in the third set. UWM jumped out to a 6-2 lead before UIC responded with five of the next six points to tie things at 7-apiece. The Flames had no answers after that, though, as a kill by Neuberger pushed the lead back to 12-9 and sparked an 8-0 run by Milwaukee. UWM had four blocks during the burst and went ahead 19-9 on a UIC error. The lead eventually grew to as many as 11 points before a kill from Kolinske provided the final point of the match.

"We just had a really balanced offense and it was awesome that Kayla was able to do that," Johnson said. "Then our defense was incredible, so we were really able to have a solid performance. It was not too stressful of a match - we just really stayed steady."

UWM wraps up its weekend road trip with a Saturday afternoon contest at Valparaiso. The match between the Panthers and Crusaders begins at 4 p.m.



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