Volleyball drops No. 7 Northwestern in top ten battle

Jack Miller, Assistant Sports Editor

Taking down a top ten opponent in the process, No.9 UW-Whitewater women’s volleyball team extended their win streak to 11 with two victories Oct. 14 at the Northwestern Invitational in St. Paul, Minnesota.

UW-W (18-3, 5-0) toppled host and No.7 University of Northwestern (Minn.) in their rst match of the day 3-1, with a 19- 25, 25-19, 25-23, 27-25 score.

“We came out and executed really well,” head coach Stacy Boudreau said. “Our serve receive was really good. It’s probably some of the best volleyball we’ve played this year. They have big hitters, but we matched up well with them.”

In the second match of the day, UW-W handily defeated St. Mary’s University (Minn.) 23-25, 25-15, 25-11, 25-22.

“We came out really slow,” senior middle hitter Courtney Wagner said. “We picked it up (midway through) the rst set and then after. After the rst set, we said ‘we can’t let this a ect us at all’. It was the last game of the weekend, so we had to push through it and not let up at all.”
In the first match of the day, the Warhawks dropped the first set against the Eagles. Then, UW-W rattled o three straight set victories. The final two sets of the match were won by the Warhawks by a combined four points.

“It was such a fun atmosphere,” Wagner said. “We all trusted each other and played our game, and we came out on top.”

Senior right side hitter Sydney Racky recorded a team-high 14 kills and added four service aces. Wagner and junior middle hitter Kelly Berk added 13 kills each.

Junior setter Elizabeth Niestrom collected 51 assists and 13 digs. Junior defensive specialist Brittany Robinson led the Warhawks in digs with 24.

Just like in the first match of the day, UW-W dropped the first set in their second match, then proceeded to triumph in their next three sets against St. Mary.

“That second set, we were able to be on top of blocking and hitters were ready to transition and take anything,” Niestrom said. “That’s what really did it.”

During the last three sets, the Warhawks won by an average margin of nine points.

Racky led the Warhawks in kills once again, this time with 17. Her hitting per- centage was an e cient .533.

“Sydney is a pretty special hitter,” Bou- dreau said.” She had a great game (against St. Mary’s). She has such a quick arm.”

Wagner, junior middle hitter Amanda Spera and sophomore outside hitter Ra- chel Butter eld all contributed double dig-

its kills. Wagner registered 12, Spera 11 and Butter eld 10.

Niestrom (49) fell two shy of her assist total in match one, while Robinson, replicated her dig total from the first match with 24.

Out of the Warhawks’ 21 matches this year, 15 have been on the road. They even traveled to San Antonio, Texas for a three- game tournament.

“We’ve been traveling pretty far, but the team is mentally tough,” Niestrom said. “When we have energy, and are on our game, we feel like no one can stop us. Our players are doing a good job not letting travel a ect them.”

UW-W will once again hit the road Oct. 18 when the team heads to Madison, Wisconsin to take on Edgewood College in non-conference matchup at 7 p.m.