Volleyball honors Panici by continuing streak

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Commentary by Justin St. Peter

Commentary by Kali Schmieding

Oct. 28, 2015

The No. 9 UW-Whitewater volleyball team continued one of its longest win streaks in school history at the Dig Panici Classic.

The ’Hawks have 16 straight wins and are 26-3 overall, utterly dominating competition all year long.

On day one of the tournament, the ’Hawks defeated St. Catherine University (Minn.) 25-12, 25-20, 25-17. They also beat Augustana College (Ill.) 25-15, 25-15, 29-27

During the St. Catherine match, many fans and students packed the stands to honor former player Lisa Panici, who passed away from brain cancer in 2012 after a two-year battle.

Panici wore number 12 for the team, so the fans remained silent for the first two points of the match  before erupting upon scoring the third.

The ’Hawks trailed 5-1 before dominating the rest of the way thanks to the serves of senior defensive specialist Jaclyn Krizka.

In the second set, the ’Hawks broke away from an 8-8 tie to take over and win the set.

The ’Hawks controlled the third set after a serve from Krizka. This was the team’s fourth-straight three-set victory, proving how much Panici meant to the team.

Junior outside hitter Lauren Pfeifer was the star of the mach with 16 kills along with 13 digs and three blocks .Senior right side hitter Brittney Langley and sophomore outside hitter Sydney Racky had eight kills each.

The ’Hawks had a slow start in the first two sets against Augustana, but ended up gutting out a hard-fought victories in each.

In the third set the ’Hawks claimed the final two points after an ace by junior setter Staci Hassler and a kill by Racky.

On the second day of the tournament, the ’Hawks defeated Loras College (Iowa) 26-24, 25-16, 30-28. For the last match of the tournament the ’Hawks man-handled Wartburg College (Iowa) 25-17, 25-19, 25-15.

Head coach Stacey Boudreau earned her 400th career win in her illustrious coaching career with the  ’Hawks.

Freshman defensive specialist Brittany Robinson led the defense with 18 digs and four assists. Sophomore middle hitter Courtney Wagner had six kills, four digs and three blocks.

The ’Hawks dtifling defense held Wartburg to a .010 hitting percentage. They had negative marks in the first and third sets.

Pfeifer had 15 kills, seven digs and three blocks. Racky contributed 11 kills and three blocks.

Hasler and Pfeifer were named to the All-American Tournament Team for their clutch performances.

The ’Hawks will try to continue its win streak on the road against rival  UW-Lacrosse, which holds a share of the WIAC lead, on Oct. 28.

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