Volleyball Holds On For 30-23, 30-26, 25-30, 19-30, 15-12 Win Over DePaul|
Sept. 10, 2004
Chicago, Ill. - University of Illinois at Chicago Head Volleyball Coach Nancy Mueller knew that her squad could have been down and out after the Flames had surrendered a 2-0 lead to the DePaul Blue Demons and were about to enter game five.
Mueller, however, gathered her troops together during the three minute intermission and the Flames came out rejuvenated, claiming the 30-23, 30-26, 25-30, 19-30, 15-12 victory over DePaul, handing the Blue Demons their first loss of the season, in the opening match of the LaSalle Bank Chicago Challenge, hosted by Loyola, at the Gentile Center on Friday night.
"It was a great match," Mueller said. "We came out hard and ready to play.
"I think we let up and as soon as we let up, they jumped all over us," Mueller continued. "We got refocused in game five and came out, executed and went back to the basics of the game plan.
"They played hard, we played hard, it was a dogfight the whole way."
Sophomore middle hitter Ambria Springer led the attack for the Flames with 19 kills and nine blocks, while teammate Jordan Studzinski chipped in a double-double of 13 kills and 16 digs. UIC outside hitters Katarina Nedeljkovic and Dawn Strahanoski each tallied eight kills in the victory.
"Bria was our go-to tonight," Mueller said. "When she's 1-on-1, most of the time, she's going to be able to kill the ball."
With the victory, UIC improves to 3-4 on the season, while the Blue Demons fall to 4-1 overall.
UIC was solid at the net on Friday as the Flames finished with a season-high 12 blocks, led by Springer's nine.
"That's the best match we've ever blocked. It was huge because we really took them out of their offense," Mueller said. "We served a lot and we took them out of their offense with our aggressive serving. That was very crucial for us as well.
"Our serving and our blocking were extremely important for us tonight."
In game five, DePaul held a 10-8 lead over the Flames. The Flames, however, would not go away quietly as the seven of the next nine points, led by a kill and two block assists from Springer, to claim the victory.
UIC will be back in action on Saturday afternoon, as they will take on the host Ramblers at 2:30 p.m. in the second match of the Chicago Challenge.