Defense Leads The Way As Panthers Knock Off Wright State
Oct. 12, 2012
MILWAUKEE - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee tallied 101 digs and 13 blocks in a stellar defensive effort to claim a 26-28, 25-18, 25-22, 27-25 win over Wright State Friday night at the Klotsche Center.
The Panthers (8-11, 3-3) limited the Raiders to a .097 hitting clip as three players tallied at least 20 dgs and Rachel Neuberger collected 10 blocks. Anna Bartz led the way in the back row with 26 digs while Julie Kolinske added 22 and Elizabeth Egerer 20.
UWM also had great balance on offense, with four players reaching double figures in kills. Egerer led the way with 18 while Neuberger added 15, Maggie Dunbar 14 and Kolinske 13.
Heidi Splinter led Wright State (2-21, 0-6) with 15 kills.
In the end, Milwaukee was dominant on the stat sheet, owning big edges in kills (63-45), digs (101-89) and blocks (13-2). Even though the Panthers were never able to truly seize control of the match, they also never let it slip away thanks to their defensive strength and some key kills late in the fourth set.
"Our defense really stepped it up," Milwaukee head coach Susie Johnson said. "It's the best we've done all year digging the ball and blocking. It was a great job by the team because it's been a focus for the last week for sure and that's gotten a lot better."
UWM finished off the match with a tough win in the fourth set. The Panthers led much of the early going, claiming advantages of 8-2 and 13-7. Wright State did fight back to grab an 18-16 lead and again led 23-21 on a pair of UWM errors. The Panthers then had to fight off a pair of set-points for Wright State but did so each time thanks to kills by Dunbar. Then, Kolinske stepped up with two kills of her own to seal the win.
The teams had split the first two sets. The Raiders used a huge comeback to pull out the first set. UWM bolted out to a 13-4 lead but Wright State steadily fought back. WSU eventually tied things at 24 and then used kills by Splinter and Natalie Catani to pull out the 28-26 win.
UWM struck back in the second set. The Panthers used a six-point run to claim an 11-7 advantage and went ahead 20-15 on a kill by Dunbar. The lead hit 24-17 on another Dunbar kill and then the freshman then closed out the frame with her fourth kill of the set.
The Panthers controlled the third set. The jumped out to an 11-4 lead and then used a six-point run to claim a 19-10 advantage. The Raiders did pull to within 23-20 and 24-22 but a kill by Egerer finished things off for Milwaukee.
Milwaukee wraps up the weekend by hosting Valparaiso Saturday at 4 p.m. in the annual Pink Out match.