Blanchard, Defense Carries The Day As Panthers Sweep Past YSU
Oct. 28, 2011
MILWAUKEE - Freshman Hannah Blanchard had 15 kills as the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee claimed a convincing 25-16, 25-10, 25-16 win over Youngstown State Friday night at the Klotsche Center.
The Panthers (20-4, 13-0 Horizon) have now won 13-straight matches and can clinch the outright Horizon League regular season title with a win over second-place Cleveland State Saturday.
Milwaukee hit .351 for the match and was in control throughout. Elizabeth Egerer added 11 kills as the Panthers committed just 11 hitting errors.
UWM's defense was also strong, limiting Youngstown State (2-22, 1-11) to a .077 hitting clip and just 25 kills. The Panthers had 12 blocks, led by six from Rachel Neuberger. No player had more than seven kills for the Penguins.
The victory also pushed Milwaukee to the 20-win mark for the 14th time in the last 16 years, while the Panthers have now won 22-straight regular season league matches dating back to last season.
Milwaukee ran away with all three sets. In the first frame, UWM turned a 9-8 lead into a 15-9 advantage and then led 18-10 on a block by Neuberger and Kayla Price. The lead grew to 21-12 on another combo block from Neuberger and Price and was 23-15 after a kill by Egerer. The Panthers then wrapped things up on a YSU error.
UWM was never threatened in the second set. The Panthers took an 11-5 lead out of the blocks and extended the advantage to 20-7 on a block by Mackenzie Millis and Egerer. The lead was 23-8 following a kill by Egerer and the Panthers wrapped up the set on an ace from Anna Bartz.
Things were slightly tighter in the third set though UWM was still in control throughout. The Panthers led 10-8 on a kill by Neuberger and 16-10 following a YSU error. The lead hit 20-12 on a Kerri Schuh kill and was 23-15 after a kill by Egerer. UWM then finished off the match thanks to a solo block by Millis.
Saturday's match with Cleveland State starts at 4 p.m. It is also the annual "Pink Out" match for Milwaukee, with those wearing pink able to get in for just $1. The Vikings are 9-2 in league play entering the match and are the only team in the league that can catch the Panthers for the top spot.