Banged-Up Panthers Put Up Fight Before Falling In Five-Setter At UIC
Oct. 6, 2012
CHICAGO - Five players reached double figures in kills and UIC scored six of the final eight points in the decisive fifth set to claim a 25-22, 22-25, 23-25, 25-23, 15-11 win over the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Saturday afternoon at the Flames Athletic Center.
Elizabeth Egerer had 20 kills to lead Milwaukee (7-11, 2-3), which has now played three 5-set matches in its first five league outings, including in both matches this weekend in Chicago.
The Panthers also got 17 kills from Rachel Neuberger and 15 from Sammi Herron, while Anna Bartz led the defense with a collegiate-best 31 digs. Amber Simonton had seven blocks to help the front-row efforts.
"I told the team after the match that we've been dealt a tough hand with the injuries but that we keep fighting and pushing and that I'm seeing progress," Milwaukee head coach Susie Johnson said. "That progress isn't showing up in the win column right now but we're showing a lot of character and I'm proud of that. Young players are stepping in and getting better and if we can just cut out five or six errors over the course of the match these five-set losses will become wins. We can work with that."
Aubrey Sniegowski led the balanced Flames (11-10, 4-2) attack with 19 kills.
"We're seeing that the mindset of everyone in the league now is that we are vulnerable and they're pushing even more to beat us," Johnson said. "We know we have to step up our play and fight even harder to overcome that."
The Panthers led 7-6 in the fifth set after a block by Egerer and Simonton and still had the frame tied at 9-apiece following a kill by Sammi Herron. But UIC countered with the next four points to claim control of the match. UWM was able to pull back within 13-11 but the Flames struck again, finishing off the match on a kill by Sara Sternard following a Milwaukee overpass.
UIC won the first set thanks to a late surge. The Panthers grabbed an early 7-3 lead and were ahead 10-5 after a service ace from Hannah Blanchard. The advantage was 13-7 after an ace by Simonton and 20-15 on a kill by Maggie Dunbar. But UIC had the final answer, scoring the last six points to capture the win. Four different UIC players had a kill during the run, which also included one block and a UWM error.
UWM evened things up by winning a tight second set. The Panthers trailed 11-10 early in the frame and it still found themselves down 18-17 after an error. But Milwaukee struck back with three in a row to take a 20-18 lead and was still up 22-20 after a kill by Herron. UIC scored the next two points to tie things at 22 but the Panthers answered. Neuberger ended the next rally with a kill and then Egerer followed with two-straight kills to get Milwaukee even in the match.
The Panthers went ahead with a gutsy effort in the third set. UIC built early leads of 9-7 and 12-9 but Milwaukee struck back to tie the contest at 12 before a four-point run put UWM ahead 16-13. UIC closed to within 17-16 but the Panthers answered with a five-point run to claim control. Simonton had a pair of blocks during the burst, with a kill by Dunbar pushing the Milwaukee advantage to 22-16. UIC was able to pull within 24-22 late in the frame but a block by Neuberger and Dunbar ended the set in the Panthers' favor.
UIC extended the match with a win in the fourth set. The Flames built an early 5-1 lead before Milwaukee fought back to claim a 12-11 lead on a Dunbar. UIC rebuilt a 16-13 lead and then was up 20-16 on a kill by Nicole Allgood. UWM fought back to tie the frame at 22 on an ace by Maisey Mulvey and at 23 on a kill by Herron. But the Flames answered with a pair of blocks to pull out the victory.
The fifth set was then tight through the early going before the Flames made a key surge to claim the match.
Milwaukee comes back home for a pair of matches next weekend. Wright State visits the Klotsche Center Friday night before Valparaiso comes to town Saturday afternoon.