Win At UIC Sets School Record, Caps Panthers' Unbeaten League Run
Nov. 12, 2011
CHICAGO - Elizabeth Egerer had 16 kills and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee collected 16 blocks in claiming a 28-30, 25-16, 25-18, 25-19 win over UIC Saturday night.
The Panthers (23-4, 16-0 Horizon) have now won a school-record 16-straight matches and are the first team to go unbeaten through the Horizon League regular season schedule since 1994.
In all, UWM's defense limited UIC to a .050 hitting clip as Milwaukee also tallied 71 digs to go with the 16 blocks. Morgan Potter led the back row with 25 digs and was one of three Panthers in double figures in the category. Rachel Neuberger had eight blocks and Mackenzie Millis six to spark things up front.
"That was not an easy match. We really had to earn it," UWM head coach Susie Johnson said. "Offensively we did just enough but our defense really came through. We won a lot of long rallies and really pushed to the finish. It is a great accomplishment to finish the regular season unbeaten but I know the team is already looking forward to the tournament next weekend."
The Panthers led most of the way in the first set yet couldn't quite finish things off. Milwaukee actually had five set-point chances but could never close things out. Instead, a UIC block put the Flames ahead 29-28 before an ace by Mary Kate Imrie had UIC ahead in the match.
Milwaukee wasted little time in regaining control of things. In the second set, the Panthers held leads of 9-5, 12-6 and 16-9 before cruising to the finish. UWM was up 20-12 on a Kolinske kill and the lead hit 23-13 on a UIC error. A kill by Millis eventually finished things off.
Things were a little tighter in the third set as an early 14-7 Milwaukee lead was cut to 15-14 after a UWM error. But the Panthers went back up 21-17 on an ace by Taylor Golabowski and then finished things off on kills by Egerer and Neuberger sandwiched around a solo block by Millis.
UWM put the finishing touches on the match with a solid effort in the fourth set. A kill by Egerer had Milwaukee ahead 13-9 before a Kolinske kill made it 18-12. Another kill from Egerer increased the Panther advantage to 22-15 and Milwaukee closed things out on a kill by Schuh.
"It was great to be tested in both of our matches this weekend," Johnson said. "It got us used to playing under pressure and it helps get us ready for the kind of matches we will be in during the tournament."
As the regular season champion, Milwaukee will host the Horizon League Tournament this coming weekend at the Klotsche Center. The event begins Friday but the Panthers will not have to play until a 2:30 p.m. semifinal Saturday.