Comeback Lands Just Short As Panthers Fall To Valparaiso
Oct. 13, 2012
MILWAUKEE - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's volleyball team fought back from a two-set deficit but could not pull out the win in falling 25-15, 25-23, 24-26, 21-25, 18-16 to Valparaiso Saturday at the Klotsche Center.
The Panthers were able to fight off two match-points in the final frame before the Crusaders closed things out behind a kill from Mary Dent and a UWM hitting error.
Milwaukee (8-12, 3-4) posted a stellar defensive effort in coming from behind, led by 17 blocks from Rachel Neuberger and 24 digs from Julie Kolinske. The defense helped force Valparaiso into 35 hitting errors.
Ellen Vanden Berg had 23 kills to lead Valpo (13-9, 5-2), which did come through with 13 kills and just one error in the deciding frame.
"That was a really tough match getting down the first two sets and then having to fight back," Milwaukee head coach Susie Johnson said. "That's what this team did and I was really proud of this team. In the end, it didn't come through but this team showed a lot of character today. My heart hurts for them because I feel like they did everything they could do to win that match and it just didn't come through."
The fifth set was close the whole way. UWM had an early 5-3 advantage but Valpo struck back to claim leads of 9-7 and 10-8. Milwaukee battled its way to a 13-12 advantage on a kill from Kolinske and then led 14-13 on another Kolinske kill. The Crusaders were able to fight off match point and then claim three of their own, taking advantage of the final one to capture a key road victory.
Valpo jumped ahead in the match by controlling the first set. The Crusaders turned a 12-10 advantage into a 19-11 lead thanks to a 7-1 burst. UWM did pull within 20-13 on a kill by Egerer but the Crusaders extended the edge to 23-13 on a block and never looked back.
The Crusaders fought back from a big deficit to win the second frame. UWM broke a 10-all tie with four-straight points and then led 20-13 on a kill by Egerer. But it was almost all Crusaders from there. VU came within 21-20 after two-straight UWM errors before Dunbar responded with two kills to restore a 23-20 lead. Valpo had the final burst, though, capturing the final five points to go ahead by two sets.
Milwaukee got back in the match with a thrilling win in the third frame. UWM built a big lead in the early going, scoring 11 of the first 14 points. But Valpo struck back, pulling within 16-14 on a kill by Morgan Beil before eventually going ahead 20-18 on a block. The Panthers settled back down, though, going up 24-23 on an Egerer kill. Valpo was able to fight off one set-point before Milwaukee pulled it out, with a kill by Kolinske followed by a Crusader error pushing the Panthers back into the match.
The Panthers kept the momentum in the fourth frame. UWM fell down 15-12 but recovered to take an 18-17 lead on an Egerer kill. The lead grew to 20-18 on an ace by Hannah Blanchard and 23-18 on a kill by Egerer. Valpo did close to within 24-21 but a kill by Kolinske finished things off and extended the match.
UWM hits the road to start the second half of league play next weekend. The Panthers play at first-place Cleveland State Friday night before heading to Youngstown State Saturday afternoon.