Panthers Push Hard To Knock Off Ramblers
Oct. 7, 2008
The Panthers (11-5, 4-1) recovered from dropping the first set to win the final three and hand the Ramblers (13-5, 3-3) their second-straight league defeat.
Colleen Francis had 12 kills and Sarah Singer 11 for Loyola, which hit just .129 for the match and had 30 hitting errors.
In fact, Milwaukee's defense picked up as the match went along. The Panthers had 43 digs over the final two sets after collecting just 24 in the first two frames. UWM also had seven of its 11 blocks in the final two sets.
"Our blocking got better as the match went along," UWM head coach Susie Johnson said. "We started to get more touches at the net and we were just more solid with our blocking, which I think helped our back row. We talked about how we had to be stronger at the first line of defense and we accomplished that."
UWM also showed good composure late in the fourth set, when a four-point lead was trimmed to one.
"We didn't look like a young or inexperienced team tonight," Johnson said. "We played like a veteran team. We were pushed hard and we pushed back. It did get close at times but we kept our composure and fought through it."
The Ramblers used a late surge to pull out the first set. UWM actually built a quick 7-3 lead only to see Loyola take a 13-10 lead on a kill by Dana VanDiggelen. The Panthers did fight back to tie the frame at 14 but UWM would never get even again. Milwaukee was within 19-18 after a Loyola ball-handling error but the Ramblers scored the final six points of the set to take a 1-0 lead.
The Panthers had to battle back to win the second set. The Ramblers led 12-9 after a kill by VanDiggelen and still led 15-13 on a kill by Katie Johnson. The Panthers took a 19-17 lead on a Loyola error but the Ramblers tied the set at 19, 20, 21 and 22. UWM had the final surge, though, with a kill by O'Brien, a Loyola error and a block by O'Brien and Sueppel evening the match.
Milwaukee dominated the third set. The Panthers took the lead for good at 6-5 and eventually led 16-8 on a kill by Samantha Trawitzke. The Ramblers scored the next two points to close within six but never got any closer. A solo block by Schmitting made it 20-10 and a block and kill by Sueppel wrapped up the set.
UWM then had to hang on to pull out the fourth set. The Panthers looked to be in control when an ace from Kellye Zaporski pushed the lead to 21-17. But, Loyola would close to within a point on three different occasions before a final kill by Schuh wrapped up the match for the Panthers.
"I am really excited about Kerri Schuh," Johnson said. "She was aggressive and determined tonight and came through at some key times."
UWM returns to action Wednesday night, welcoming UIC to the Klotsche Center for a 7 p.m. contest.