Flames Hang Tough with Oregon State; Drop Match 3-0

Senior Sara Sternard
Senior Sara Sternard

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EVERGREEN PARK, Ill. – The UIC volleyball team (3-5/0-0 HL) battled from beginning to end in its first match of the 2012 Chicago Classic on Saturday afternoon against Oregon State, but eventually fell to the Beavers in straight sets (22-25, 19-25, 25-27).  Mother McAuley High School on Chicago’s South Side serves as host for this year’s event, the alma mater of Flames’ head coach Katie Schumacher-Cawley.

“We fought hard and did some really great things,” said Schumacher-Cawley.  “We missed out on a few points and had some minor errors, but we kept fighting the entire match.  Now we have to refocus and get ready for tonight.”

Seniors Janise Dismuke and Sara Sternard guided the Flames with 10 kills apiece as senior Aubrey Sniegowski posted a match-high .385 attacking percentage.  Junior MaryKate Imrie also recorded a match-high in assists with 36.

The Flames started strong in the first set with a quick 5-1 edge.  The Beavers chipped away at UIC’s lead and eventually knotted the score at 10-10.  Oregon State then rallied and captured 12 of the next 19 points to go up 22-15.  The Flames ignited one more offensive surge to close the gap to within three points, but eventually dropped the first set 25-22.

The second set was as nearly competitive as the first with four ties and two lead changes.  Dismuke paced the Flames with four kills as the Beavers collected the second set, 25-19, and headed into the break with a two-set advantage.

The third set mirrored the first as UIC jumped out to commanding 10-4 edge as senior Kelsey Safranek notched four kills in the early going.  The Flames held on to lead until Oregon State knotted the score at 18-18, foreshadowing a back-and-forth conclusion.  The tally would be tied five more times before the Beavers captured the third and final set, 27-25.

The Flames will have a short recess before taking the court at 5 p.m. to face city-rival DePaul in the first match of the evening session.  DePaul dropped its earlier match against Penn State in straight sets.