Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Netters sweep BSC at Emory Invite

Sept. 17, 2014 By Paul Bressler

The No. 21-ranked UW-Whitewater women’s volleyball team experienced a bag of mixed results over the weekend at the Emory Invite by splitting its four matches in Atlanta, Georgia.

Senior setter Kim Frei was proud of the ’Hawks performance.

“We fought really hard,” Frei said. “It was a learning experience because we have to learn how to finish those close games.”

After dropping to 8-4 on the season, the Warhawks swept its final match against Birmingham-Southern College 3-0 (25-15, 25-13, 25-11). The team dominated most of the match accumulating 40 kills to the Panthers’ 21. Senior Kristen Ruchti and junior Brittney Langley combined for 13 kills. Senior libero Kelsey Nobilio lead the team on defense with 16 digs while Frei controlled the offense by handing out 35 assists.

Frei finished the tournament with 173 assists. Junior outside hitter Jessica Sabey led the team with 46 kills. Langley was not far behind with 40 kills of her own. Sophomore outside hitter Lauren Pfeifer was second on the team with 47 digs. Ruchti added 35 kills and 17 blocks. Nobilio accumulated 88 digs over the entirety of the invite.

The ’Hawks did not enjoy the same success earlier in the day against Bowdoin College. After splitting four sets, Bowdoin won in a tiebreaker. Although the team outhit Bowdoin 59-55, it was the Polar Bears’ efficiency that got the best of the Warhawks.

“We definitely could have been more efficient,” Frei said. “They are scrappy team but we definitely needed to put the ball away and focus on having not as many unforced errors.”

Pfeifer was second on the team with 14 digs and added six blocks. She also led the team with 15 kills. Sabey and Langley contributed 10 plus kills in consecutive matches. Of the team’s 56 assists, Frei dished out 48 of them. Nobilio chipped in 22 digs to lead the team. Ruchti and sophomore middle blocker Sydney Toon combined for 12 blocks.

No. 4-ranked (according to Emory University provided the ’Hawks with its toughest challenge of the invite by handing the team a 1-3 defeat.

“We went into it thinking that we had nothing to lose, so we played our hearts out,” Frei said. “It was a really, really close game.”

A quick start had the Warhawks on top 13-8 in the early moments of the first set. The Eagles answered with a 12-4 run to reclaim the lead 20-17. The ’Hawks forced four set points before Emory’s outside hitter Leah Jacobs finished of the Warhawks 25-23 in the first of four sets.

With the momentum against them, the ’Hawks mustered up all they had for a second set. A back-and-forth battle ensued until the end when Langley would prove to be the difference. After a Langley kill put the ’Hawks up one, Emory would tie the set for the 18th time at 28 all. Frei answered by setting up Langley for the kill on the next point and gave the team the lead 29-28. The ’Hawks evened the match at 1-1 after an ace from Langley.

Set three proved to be a mirror image of the previous encounter. However, this time Emory would break the 28 all tie with a couple points of their own and take a 2-1 match lead. A poor start, by the ’Hawks, in the fourth set had the Eagles out in front 6-1. The ’Hawks battled back to tie it at 17 points, but a 6-3 run would prove to be the difference. With the score 23-22, Emory would finish off the ’Hawks with back-to-back points and not only take the set 25-22 but also the match 3-1.

“I think that is the hardest we have ever fought in a lot of years,” Frei said. “It was really cool to see the competing come through there.”

Sabey and Langley accounted for 17 kills each (career highs) after posting their previous career bests against Emory back on Sept. 8 2012. Nobilio dug out her season best with 33 digs, while Frei accounted for 54 of the team’s 57 assists.

The ’Hawks  did start off on the right note with a victory over Randolph-Macon College 3-0 at Emory University. Ruchti had a.538 average on eight kills while adding five blocks. Sabey led the team with 12 kills on 25 attempts. Frei single-handily dictated the offense by dishing out all 36 of the team’s assists. Nobilio dug out 17 kills while junior defensive specialist Jaclyn Krizka accounted for 12 digs of her own.

“It’s different than past years because we have new people on the floor,” Frei said. “I really try to know how everyone likes to play around each other. I love it, and I am trying to make the most out of my senior year.

After a weekend in Atlanta, the Warhawks will return home to host Carthage College at 7 p.m. on Sept. 17 in the Kris Russell Volleyball Arena.


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Founded 1901
Netters sweep BSC at Emory Invite