Neuberger's Stellar Night Sparks Panthers To Sweep Of Vikings
Oct. 18, 2013
MILWAUKEE - Rachel Neuberger had 20 kills and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee hit .339 as a team in collecting a 25-20, 25-22, 25-22 win over defending Horizon League champion Cleveland State Friday night at the Klotsche Center.
Neuberger had just one error and hit .594 in the match in helping Milwaukee (10-8. 6-0 Horizon) remain unbeaten in league play.
Kayla Price directed the stellar Panther offense with 41 assists as Milwaukee hit better than .300 for the third time in six league matches.
But the story of the night was Neuberger. She surpassed 20 kills for the third time in her career and dominated the match offensively.
"She was just very controlled and just so precise about her approach," head coach Susie Johnson said. "She was efficient and all of those positive words we always work on getting her to be. She seemed very relaxed to play her game tonight and that's what she was able to do."
The Panthers controlled the first set. Milwaukee broke a 5-all tie by scoring eight-straight points, with the run highlighted by four kills from Neuberger. CSU did pull to within 15-11 but Milwaukee pushed the lead back out to 20-12 on a Ruiz kill and was still up 24-18 after a kill by Kolinske. Another Kolinske kill then wrapped things up.
Milwaukee then fought from behind to win the second set. The Vikings jumped out to early leads of 7-2 and 9-3 before Milwaukee closed to within 10-8 on a kill by Neuberger. The Panthers eventually forged a 17-all tie on a Neuberger kill and took the lead for good at 19-18 on another kill from Neuberger. Milwaukee advantage grew to 24-20 on a CSU error and then yet another kill by Neuberger gave Milwaukee a two-set lead in the match.
UWM then wrapped up the win with a solid performance in the third set. Milwaukee jumped out to a 7-4 lead after a Kolinske kill and pushed the edge to 16-12 following back-to-back kills by Hannah Blanchard. Cleveland State did pull to within 19-18 on a Logan Holthaus service ace and was still within a point at 23-22. But the Panthers answered with two-straight kills by Ruiz to finish off the set and match.
"We had to push because they weren't going away," Johnson said. "It was more of an offensive match than anything for both sides, so we were able to come up with the win."
The Panthers wrap up their weekend homestand and the first half of league play by hosting Youngstown State Saturday. The annual Pink Out match begins at 4 p.m.