Panthers Pull Out Five-Setter At Youngstown To Clinch Outright Crown
Nov. 15, 2013
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Julie Kolinske had 18 kills to lead four players in double figures as the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee clinched the outright Horizon League regular season title with a 25-18. 25-16, 22-25, 29-31, 15-8 win over Youngstown State Friday night.
Milwaukee (16-9, 12-1 Horizon) looked to be in complete control of the match after dominating the first two sets. But Youngstown State (15-13, 7-6) rallied by limiting UWM to just eight kills in the third frame before the Penguins pulled out a thrilling fourth set that included 21 ties.
But the Panthers then wasted little time in taking control of the fifth set, jumping to leads of 5-1 and 11-5 to wrap up the match.
Rachel Neuberger and Maggie Dunbar added 17 kills apiece for Milwaukee, which hit .283 for the match. In fact, the Panthers held a big edge in kills (73-57) and hitting percentage (.283-.189), while also outdigging the Penguins, 70-54.
Taylor Golabowski led the back-row defense with 22 digs and was one of four players to reach double figures in the category.
Alexis Egler had 16 kills to lead Youngstown State (15-13, 7-6).
"There were too many times where Youngstown State was playing hard and we were playing safe," Milwaukee head coach Susie Johnson said. "When we won it was definitive, but we couldn't get over the hump in that fourth set and we made some silly errors. But we also came through when it mattered and got a lot of great performances with people like Maggie and Kaisa stepping up."
UWM was thoroughly dominant in the first two sets. The Panthers hit .429 in the first frame and .344 in the second, never trailing after the very early going of each set. But YSU turned the tables in the third frame, holding Milwaukee to a .000 hitting clip while overcoming a 20-14 deficit.
Then in the fourth set, Milwaukee led 19-15 and 24-22 but could not close things out. In fact, UWM had six match-point chances before YSU finally rattled off two-straight on a service error and service ace to extend the match.
The fifth set was all Milwaukee. Two kills and a block in the early going by Neuberger set the tone and the lead hit 11-5 on a kill by Myanna Ruiz. The Panthers weren't threatened after that, with kills from Dunbar and Neuberger finally finishing things off.
"We definitely relaxed in set five and just settled down to put things away," Johnson said. "As hard as this match was to win, it was good to get the experience of a match like this and to see us respond and recover. In the end we maintained our composure, stayed loose, and did what we had to do to clinch the outright title."
UWM wraps up the regular season Saturday afternoon at Cleveland State.