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Volleyball Scoreboard (Oct. 25)
Milwaukee 3, Valparaiso 1
Oakland 3, Cleveland State 2
UIC 3, Green Bay 0
Youngstown State 3, Wright State 1

Milwaukee 3, Valparaiso 1
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee volleyball team earned a hard-fought 3-1 victory over Valparaiso University Friday night at the ARC.

"It was a really incredible team effort," Milwaukee head coach Susie Johnson said. "We completely executed the game plan and it wasn't easy - Valparaiso is a very good team."

Sophomore Myanna Ruiz blew away her previous career high, finishing with 24 kills to help spark the Panthers (12-10, 6-2 Horizon League) to the 25-21, 19-25, 26-24, 25-22 win over the Crusaders (18-6, 4-4 Horizon League).

"Myanna was incredible with the double-double and it was such an incredible effort on defense," Johnson said. "Taylor's 24 digs, Maddie with 15, Kayla with 15 – we worked hard on that all week. The fact that we had 23 more kills than them was just as important. I am really proud of the team."

Senior Julie Kolinske and junior Maggie Dunbar added 16 kills each. Emily Campbell paced Valpo with a double-double of 20 kills and 19 digs.

The decision kicked off the second half of the league season for UWM and helped them remain tied for first place with Oakland and Youngstown State, who both won as well Friday, at 6-2 in conference.

Ruiz added 17 digs for the double-double, with junior Kayla Price adding a double-double of her own with 15 digs and 55 assists, tying her season-high in the assist category. Senior Taylor Golabowski contributed a team-high 24 digs for the defense. Sophomore Maddie Schmitz set a career-high with 15 digs.

Ruiz, who topped her former collegiate-best of 18 kills on the night, dominated the opening set to help Milwaukee set the tone for the match. She tallied 11 kills in the opener as the Panthers hit .354 in the 25-21 victory.

Tied at 15, Valpo tallied three in a row to force a timeout by Johnson at 18-15. That turned the table, with kills by Ruiz, then Dunbar and then again by Ruiz to make it 18-18 and force a Crusader timeout.

A Dunbar kill gave Milwaukee the lead it would not relinquish at 19-18. Ruiz was brilliant the rest of the way, recording kills to make it 21-18, 24-19 and the winner at 25-19.

Valparaiso did not quit, holding the Panthers to a .095 hitting percentage in the second to square the match up heading into the break.

Set three was the key to the night. Back and forth very early, Milwaukee found itself in holes of 12-7 and 15-11 before rallying. Up 23-20, Campbell gave the Crusaders one last push, with back-to-back kills making it 23-22. A Kolinske kill returned momentum to UWM and, after a Valpo error, Dunbar went back-to-back with impressive kills to take the set by a final tally of 26-24.

The fourth was a thriller, featuring 10 ties and six lead changes, with the Panthers breaking the 15-15 tie and never looking back.

Oakland 3, Cleveland State 2
Ciara Schultz tallied 49 assists with 10 digs while Cassie Pelloni had a match-best 19 kills and Melissa Deatsch had a double-double of 15 kills and 17 digs as Oakland rallied to defeat Cleveland State Friday evening, 16-25, 27-25, 20-25, 25-16, 15-12.

With the win, Oakland improves to 14-9 overall and 6-2 in Horizon League action, while Cleveland State slips to 10-11, 3-5 HL.

"We found a way," head coach Rob Beam said. "We really scrapped and brought some intensity in the fourth set. Give a lot of credit to our team; we talk about sideline culture, and our team was phenomenal and brought so much energy."

Jessica Dood added 11 kills for Oakland's attack, while Taylor Humm's season-best 31 digs was a match-high for the Golden Grizzlies. Oakland tallied nine blocks, with six blocks by Sammy Condon to lead the way.

After struggling in the first set, Oakland dug down and gutted out a 27-25 set victory. Cleveland State battled back by hitting .316 in the third to take a 2-1 lead, but the Golden Grizzlies answered by holding the Vikings to a .000 hitting percentage in the final two sets to earn the win.

In the decisive fifth set, Cleveland State edged out to a 6-4 lead, but the Golden Grizzlies rattled off the next six points thanks to hard-to-handle serving by Alli Gutschow to take a lead it wouldn't relinquish. Gutschow had two service aces on the night, including one during the key fifth-set run.

UIC 3, Green Bay 0
The UIC volleyball team (11-12, 5-3 HL) won its fourth consecutive Horizon League contest with a 3-0 sweep (25-20, 25-16, 25-16) over Green Bay (3-16, 1-7 HL) Friday night. The Flames last won four straight conference contests during the 2012 season, when UIC advanced to the Horizon League Championship match.

UIC hit at a season-high .407 clip, which is the sixth highest mark in program history. The Flames put down 45 kills on 91 attempts and committed a season-low eight attack errors.

Junior Stephenee Yancy dominated the match with 21 kills on 32 attempts for a season-high .594 attack percentage. She had 9 kills in the first set and eight more in the second frame. Yancy's 21 kills are the most in a three-set match in the Horizon League.

Yancy's performance is her second straight with 20-plus kills and she owns five such efforts this season. She has put down double-digit kills in all 23 matches. Yancy added two blocks and has a League-high 38 blocks over the last eight contests.

Redshirt freshman Nicole Johnson dished out 40 assists, which is her second-highest three-set performance this season. She had 44 assists on Sept. 5 in the sweep over Chicago State.

Senior Maggie Strus compiled 11 digs to add to her program-record total of 1,578. She owns 19 double-digit dig performances this season.

Sophomore Kara Johnson put down nine kills on 22 attempts while Molly McCoy and Sara Jo Sternard added five kills apiece. Sternard also tied her career-high with three of UIC's five service aces and collected two more blocks. Sternard owns 305 career total blocks and needs three more to pass Mary Bloedorn (1979-82) into ninth place in program history.

Sophomore Casey Harris put down four kills and recorded her third consecutive three-block effort. She owns 17 blocks over the last seven contests.

Green Bay hit at a .406 clip in the first set to keep the score close but the Phoenix could not keep up with UIC in a 25-20 Flames' win. UIC put down 16 kills on 30 attempts for a .467 attack percentage and also recorded three service aces. With Green Bay up 4-2, the Flames distanced themselves with a 7-0 run that included four kills from Yancy.

The second set was tied 10-10 before a 4-0 run with McCoy serving allowed the Flames to pull away. UIC ended the set on a 5-0 run, which included three consecutive Yancy kills to seal the victory. The Flames held Green Bay to a .111 attack percentage during the 25-16 victory.

The third set was tied 12-12 before a 6-0 run with Kara Johnson serving gave UIC the advantage. McCoy put down four kills on five attempts and UIC had three blocks in the 25-16 win.

Youngstown State 3, Wright State 1
The Youngstown State volleyball team has won five straight Horizon League matches for the first time in school history and maintained pace atop the conference standings with a four-set win at Wright State on Friday evening. The set scores were 25-17, 26-24, 22-25, 25-22.

YSU is now 15-8 overall and 6-2 in Horizon League play, and the stage is set for a big midseason bout at Oakland on Saturday. The Golden Grizzlies are also 6-2 in the conference after beating Cleveland State in five sets on Friday.

Penguins senior Lexi Egler had a match-high 18 kills, and junior Nikki Thompson led all players with 23 digs against the Raiders. Youngstown State posted 12 blocks, seven of which came from Aly Ryan, and Val Jeffery had seven kills and seven digs to go along with 39 assists.

Megan Hopkins led Wright State offensively with 15 kills.

"I'm happy with how the team responded late in the final three sets because Wright State was the more-aggressive team tonight," YSU head coach Mark Hardaway said. "We were a little out of sync offensively but made the plays when we needed them down the stretch. We were just really high-error tonight, but we're happy to get the win and stay at the top of the standings. Now we're really looking forward to the showdown with Oakland tomorrow."

Youngstown State led 10-3 in the first set, but Wright State showed that it would battle all night when it got back with 11-9. The Penguins were never caught, and they scored seven straight points to go up 20-11.

YSU then scored six of the first seven points in the second set and led 11-5, but the Penguins had to play catch-up late. Wright State scored five straight points to go up 20-17, and the Raiders still led by three at 22-19. Youngstown State tied the set at 23, and it scored three straight points when WSU got to set point. Egler had two of her six kills in the set in those final three points.

"Lauren Blanco came off the bench in set two and really sparked the team with great effort," Hardaway said. "I thought that was huge."

Wright State had control for much of the third set and led 19-12 at one point. The Penguins were able to fight back to get the score 20-18 and regain some momentum, but Wright State held on to win 25-22 and prolong the match.

The fourth set had 13 ties and five lead changes, and neither team led by more than two until Wright State went ahead 18-15. Youngstown State scored three of the next four points out of a timeout to tie the score, and it pulled ahead 21-20 on a Katie Klusman attack error. That was YSU's first lead since the score was 8-7. Youngstown State did not trail again, and it scored the last three points to win the match. A service error gave YSU a 23-22 lead, and an ace by Jessie Gerig and a kill by Sam Brown finished off the victory.

Tags: Horizon League - Volleyball · Milwaukee - Volleyball · Oakland - Volleyball · UIC - Volleyball · Youngstown State - Volleyball
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