UIC Volleyball Falls to Eastern Michigan, 3-2

Nicole Johnson (50 assists and 10 digs) picked up her first career double-double
Nicole Johnson (50 assists and 10 digs) picked up her first career double-double
Aug. 30, 2014


HUNTINGTON, W.Va - The UIC volleyball team (0-3) dropped its final match of Marshall’s Thunder Invitational Saturday with a 3-2 loss (18-25, 22-25, 25-19, 25-21, 15-8) to Eastern Michigan (2-1). The Flames captured the first two sets but the Eagles won the final three frames to pick up the victory.  

Sophomore Kara Johnson (16 kills, 14 digs) and redshirt freshman Nicole Johnson (50 assists, 10 digs) picked up UIC’s first double-doubles of the season. Kara Johnson led the Flames in kills for the third straight match and picked up her fifth career double-double. She has posted eight consecutive double-digit kill efforts dating back to last season.

Nicole Johnson's 50 assists are the most by a UIC setter since MaryKate Imrie's 50 vs Drake on Sept. 13, 2013. Johnson’s double-double is the first of her career. 

Senior Maggie Strus compiled a match-high 22 digs and was named to the All-Tournament Team (41 digs, 11 assists and one service ace). She increased her career dig total to 1,290, which ranks sixth in program history. Strus needs 72 more digs to pass Ilene O’Connell (1982-85) for fifth place. Her last 20-plus dig effort came on Nov. 16, 2013 at Wright State.

Senior Sara Jo Sternard had 15 kills on 30 attempts for an impressive .433 attack percentage. Sternard, a Preseason All-Horizon League selection, had four kills on six attempts in the first set and five on nine swings in the fourth.  

Junior Stephenee Yancy was in double-digit kills for the third straight match with 12 kills on 27 attempts. She put down four kills on ten attempts in the second set and five on seven swings in the fourth. Freshman Kyisha Hunt was also efficient on the attack with nine kills on 16 attempts (.438 attack percentage).  

Redshirt junior Tracy Friel tied her career high with 18 digs while freshman Allie O'Reilly added eight digs and two service aces. Friel compiled double-digit digs in all three weekend matches. Hunt, Yancy and Sternard recorded two blocks apiece.  

UIC hit .351 in the first set and pulled away from a 16-16 tie by scoring six consecutive points. The Flames led by as many as 20-13 in the second set before holding on for a 25-22 win following kills from Molly McCoy and Friel.  

UIC tied the third set at 12-12 before EMU scored 12 out of the next 16 points. The Flames led the fourth set 20-19 after two kills from Kara Johnson but the Eagles scored four consecutive points to pull away. Kara Johnson's 15th kill of the match tied the fifth set at 1-1 but EMU never trailed in a 15-8 win. 

UIC is back in action next weekend (Sept. 5-6) when the Flames play at Chicago State’s Windy City Invitational. UIC will make the 12-mile trip down I-94 to play the host Cougars, Syracuse and DePaul inside the Jacoby Dickens Center.