Volleyball team shines in Dig Panici Classic


Katie McIlheran

UW-Warhawk player Jenna Weinfurt gets ready for the serve against Coe College on Dig Panici Night Sept 16 2022.

Kevin Cramer, Women's Sports Assistant Editor

The UW-Whitewater volleyball team (11-2, 1-0 WIAC) hosted their annual Dig Panici Classic in the Kris Russell Volleyball Arena Sept. 16-17. The Warhawks went undefeated in the tournament, with wins over Coe College, Concordia University (WI) and North Central College.

In the first day of competition, Whitewater defeated Coe in three straight sets, despite a competitive game. The Warhawks got off to a strong start, maintaining a lead and taking the first set 25-18. The second set opened with an 8-3 Whitewater advantage. However, Coe was able to fight back into the set and take a 15-14 lead. From there the teams played a very even set but Whitewater was able to hold on and win 28-26. 

UW-Warhawk player Allyson Warburton is seen here getting ready to spike the ball against Coe College Sept 16 2022. Katie McIlheran)

Whitewater was able to take the third set, again by a score of 25-18, completing a sweep and adding another win to the win column. Erin McNeil, Kirsten Anderson, and Jenna Weinfurt each had 9 kills in the match. Hannah Proctor had 8 kills including 4 blocks. 

On Saturday the Warhawks played two matches, their first against Concordia. The first set started out highly contested but Whitewater pulled ahead to take an 18-11 lead and close out the set 25-16. The Warhawks cruised in the second set, opening with a 14-4 advantage and closing out the set 25-11, opening the chance for a three set sweep.

Concordia would not go out quietly. The Falcons overcame a 20-16 deficit and were able to force a fourth set as they won the third 26-24. In the fourth set, Whitewater retook control as they got out to an 18-10 lead and closed out the match, winning the set 25-16. 

Jenna Weinfurt had a game high 15 kills, Erin McNeil had 13, Kirsten Anderson and Allyson Warburton each added 9 kills. 

Graduate assistant coach Luke Martinson expressed how he was feeling about the team after their win against Concordia.

“I like how the team has played. We still have one more game to go but overall I feel really great with how the team looked,” Martinson said.

In the second and final game of the day for the Warhawks, they played against North Central College (IL). The opening set started off tight, but North Central started pulling away and got off to a 21-14 advantage. Whitewater chipped away at the lead, cutting it down to 24-21 but could not complete the comeback, losing the set 25-21. 

The Warhawks got off to a quick start in the second set with a 10-3 lead, a lead they would maintain through the set.

Whitewater won the second set 25-14. The third set was hard fought and tight throughout but Whitewater would win the third 25-17. In the fourth set, Whitewater got out to a 14-8 lead and would eventually go on to win the set 25-16 to clinch the match.

Allyson Warburton had a game high 15 kills, Erin McNeil had 11, Hannah Proctor had 11 and Kirsten Anderson added 10 kills. Head Coach Stacy Boudreau was very pleased with the Warhawks performance, but still thinks the team can be better.

“I am very satisfied with how we played last night and the two games today. I feel like we could make some improvements, but I am pleased with how we have played so far this season.”

The Warhawks will host UW-Stevens Point Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. at Kris Russell Volleyball Arena in the Williams Center. Sept. 23 and 24 Whitewater will travel to Bloomington, Illinois for three games on the Illinois Wesleyan campus.

Warhawk libero Morgan Jensen(#20) is seen here returning the serve from Coe College Sept 16 2022.
(Katie McIlheran)