Panthers Drop Five-Set Heartbreaker To Dayton In NCAA Tourney
Dec. 3, 2009
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Amanda Cowdrey had 16 kills to lead four players in double figures and the University of Dayton held off a stiff challenge from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to claim a 25-17, 22-25, 25-20, 19-25, 15-9 win Thursday night in a first round NCAA Tournament match at Huff Hall.
The Panthers rallied to win the fourth set going away and looked like they might claim their first-ever NCAA Tournament victory. But, in the deciding fifth set, the 23rd-ranked Flyers (30-3) had nine kills and limited UWM to a -.087 hitting percentage.
UWM was right in the match thanks in large part to its defense. Five players reached double figures in digs, led by 24 from senior Lauren Felsing. And, the Panthers limited the Flyers to a .205 hitting clip - .050 under their season average.
But, in the end, the firepower of the Flyers came through. In addition to the 16 kills from Cowdrey, Tiffany Gaerke added 13 kills while Rachel Krabacher and Becky Novacek added 11 apiece.
The Panthers started well in the first set but could not overcome a big surge by Dayton. Milwaukee jumped out to a 5-3 lead on a kill by Schuh and still led 7-6 after a Flyer serving error. But, UD scored the next seven points to take control. The lead grew to 19-11 on a block by Krabacher and hit 22-13 on another Dayton block. Milwaukee was able to fight back within 23-17 on a block by Natalie Schmitting and Berg, but the Flyers countered with the next two points to wrap up the frame.
UWM bounced back to even the match with a strong performance in the second set. Milwaukee built a 9-5 lead following a run of Dayton errors and still led 14-10 after a kill by Schuh. The lead eventually grew to 22-17 after Berg collected three-straight kills, and Milwaukee was ahead 23-18 after another kill by Schuh. Dayton rallied to within 23-22, but the Panthers would let the rally go no further. A kill by Schuh pushed things to set-point before a block by Maddie Sueppel and Schuh brought the match even.
Dayton went back ahead with a win in the third set. The Flyers led 8-3 in the early going before UWM rallied to tie things at 8 following three-straight UD errors. But, the Flyers restored their edge to 16-12 and UWM would never get closer than three points the rest of the way. A kill from Fletemier pushed things to set-point before a kill by Krabacher finished things off.
Milwaukee wasn't going to go away easily, though, as the Panthers staged a late run to pull out the fourth set. UWM trailed 16-14 before scoring eight points in a row to seize control of the frame. The run came behind the serving of Kellye Zaporski and included three team blocks and two kills by Berg. Dayton never got closer than five points from there, with a Schuh kill and a UD service error finishing things off.
Dayton then took control of the fifth set from the outset. After Milwaukee scored the first point, the Flyers scored three in a row and never gave the lead back. The advantage grew to 9-4 on a tip kill by Krabacher, though UWM did score the next two to fight back within 9-6. A kill by Cowdrey pushed the lead back out to 13-7 and eventually it was another kill by Krabacher that finished the match.