Flames Lift Lid Off Of 2013 Season; Post 3-1 Victory

Senior Justine Garcia had four service aces.
Senior Justine Garcia had four service aces.

Aug 30, 2013

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Junior Sara Sternard and newcomer Kara Johnson logged 15 kills apiece to lead UIC to a 3-1 (28-26, 25-18, 25-20, 25-21) opening day victory over Elon at the Kristen Dickmann Invitational Friday inside the Wesley A. Brown Fieldhouse in Annapolis, Md.

Sternard posted a .414 hitting percentage, while Johnson hit at .242. The team hit at .203 with 51 total kills. UIC had 13 service aces against Elon; Sternard had two, senior setter MaryKate Imrie had three and senior Justine Garcia and junior Tracy Friel each had four.

Imrie dished out 42 assists in the match and Garcia had 19 digs.

UIC's opening set against Elon had eight lead changes, and the Flames battled back from a four-point deficit (10-6) to tie the game at 14-14. The Phoenix then pulled away to a five-point advantage (22-17), but UIC continued to battle and tied the set at 23. The teams exchanged points closing out the opening frame, before Elon maintained control to win 28-26.

Johnson had four kills and Imrie dished out 12 assists. The team compiled 15 kills at a .196 clip.

The Phoenix maintained control in the early part of the set until UIC tied the game at 5-5. The Flames then spurred two four-point runs and one five-point runs that resulted in an eight-point advantage over Elon on five separate occasions. UIC handled the second set 25-18 to tie the match at 1-1.

Sternard paced the Flames with seven kills, while Johnson chipped in four. The team hit at .300 on 15 kills. Imrie handed out 11 assists.

The Flames and Phoenix played even until UIC went on a six-point run to pull ahead 19-13. Among the six-point run, Friel had two of her four service aces in the set. The Flames won the game 25-20 to gain a 2-1 advantage in the match.

In addition to Friel's four service aces, Johnson had four of the team's 10 kills.

The Flames closed out the match with a 25-21 victory in the fourth set that included 12 kills. Imrie had two service aces and Sternard capped the match off with a kill from Imrie.

UIC continues competition at the Kristen Dickmann Invitational Saturday. The Flames face Navy at 10:00 a.m. (CT), followed by UNC-Wilmington at 3:00 p.m. Be sure to check back to for the results and recap from the day, in addition to who is named to the all-tournament team.