Panthers Finish Off Positive Spring Campaign With Three Wins At UIC
April 24, 2012
MILWAUKEE - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's volleyball team wrapped up its spring season with three wins at the UIC Tournament this past weekend.
The Panthers claimed wins over the host Flames, Northern Illinois and Illinois State to cap off its early preparation for the 2012 campaign.
Head coach Susie Johnson is pleased with the progress the Panthers made this spring. On the court, the results also included a win over national runner-up Illinois. Even more important, though, is the leadership Johnson has seen develop on her squad.
"This is the best spring we have ever had, not just with our results but in getting better as a team and in seeing our leadership abilities grow," Johnson said. "We're replacing six seniors and that is not easy to do from a leadership standpoint, but I am impressed with how quickly we've been able to have people emerge as leaders at a high level."
All-American Rachel Neuberger led the Panthers during this weekend, hitting .520. She been a standout this spring and will be counted on heavily in the fall.
"She has just been so solid this spring and she is an incredible leader," Johnson said. "Rachel has been a great player for us the last couple of years and she just continues to get better and better. She is competitive, determined and works hard on and off the court."
While Neuberger is part of leading the charge up front, senior-to-be Anna Bartz is the likely leader in the back row.
"Anna is also a great leader and she has really become a stabilizer for us in the back row," Johnson said. "She was digging tons of balls for us this weekend and she has also done a great job with her passing. As a team we really passed well this weekend and that was a big key to our success."
The Panthers will next return together as a team in early August for the start of preseason practice. The defending Horizon League champions will open the 2012 regular season at the Duke Invitational in late August. UWM's full schedule will be announced next month.