Flames Cruise Past Crusaders, 3-1

Junior Justine Garcia
Junior Justine Garcia

Sept. 21, 2012

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CHICAGO -The UIC volleyball team (7-8/1-0 HL) captured its first victory over Valparaiso (8-7/0-1) in the past nine meetings, Friday inside the Flames Athletic Center, outlasting the Crusaders 3-1 (25-20, 21-25, 26-24, 26-24).

"It was a great team effort tonight," head coach Katie Schumacher-Cawleysaid. "I thought they showed great fight against a very good Valparaiso team, and I am just proud of my group. Looking ahead to tomorrow, this conference is an exciting one, so we need to get our rest tonight and refocus for tomorrow's match against Wright State."

Senior Kelsey Safranek (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South) and sophomore Molly McCoy (Naperville, Ill./Wheaton Academy) posted 17 kills apiece to pilot the Flames. Sophomore Sara Sternard(Clarendon Hills, Ill./Westmont) chipped in an additional 11 kills.

Safranek paced the Flames in the opening set as she hammered down seven kills (.200). The UIC squad posted two four-point runs in the set, while outscoring the Crusaders 10-3 to jump out to a seven-point lead, 20-13. Valparaiso then fought back as the team won three-straight points, but the Flames regained their momentum to capture the first set in a 25-20 decision.

With the Flames leading the match 1-0, the teams battled back and forth in the second frame. The UIC squad fought back from a seven-point deficit, but was unable to capture the second set as the Crusaders won 25-21.

In the third set, McCoy led the Flames with seven kills (.400), while Safranek chipped in six. With the Flames leading the set at 25-24 McCoy knocked down the closing kill and point to secure the set, 26-24 and regain the match lead at 2-1.

McCoy piloted the Flames through the fourth and deciding set with five kills. In a set that had eight lead changes, McCoy claimed the three of the final four points in the set to lead the team to a 26-24 victory and a 3-1 win in the match.

The Flames continue their conference slate Saturday inside the Flames Athletic Center against Wright State at 4:00 p.m.