Volleyball Falls to Milwaukee in Three Friday

Sara Sternard (eight kills on 17 attempts) is hitting at a .457 clip over the last five matches
Sara Sternard (eight kills on 17 attempts) is hitting at a .457 clip over the last five matches

Oct. 4, 2013

Box Score

CHICAGO – The UIC volleyball team had trouble slowing down Milwaukee’s Rachel Neuberger and fell 3-0 (25-23, 25-16, 25-15) to the Panthers Friday night inside the Flames Athletic Center. Neuberger, voted the Horizon League’s Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, put down 11 kills on 20 attempts and Milwaukee (7-8, 3-0 Horizon League) held the UIC (5-12, 0-2 Horizon League) offense to 29 kills.

The first set was tightly contested as it featured eight ties and two lead changes. UIC led 14-11 following a Casey Harris kill but Milwaukee soon took a 15-14 lead following an attack error by Melissa Nava.

The Flames tied the set late at 22-22 on another Harris kill but the Panthers scored three out of the next four points to seal the 25-23 set victory. Freshman Kara Johnson had four kills on nine attempts in the set while junior Sara Sternard and Harris both put down three kills.  

Neuberger put down five kills on seven attempts in the first set and followed with four kills on six swings in the second set. Milwaukee hit .355 as a team and held UIC to eight kills on its way to a 25-16 second set win. Neuberger was a major defensive presence in the third set as she collected four total blocks in Milwaukee’s 25-15 win.

UIC received eight kills and two block assists from Sternard. She only needed 17 attempts to collect her eight kills (.353 attack percentage) and passed the 600-career kill milestone in the second set. Over the last five matches, Sternard is hitting at a .457 clip with 53 kills on 105 attempts.

Senior MaryKate Imrie dished out 24 assists on UIC’s 29 kills. Imrie now owns 3,192 career assists and needs 22 more assists to move past Inga Balzaras (3,213 – 1989-92) into fourth all-time in program history.

Senior Justine Garcia compiled a match-high 14 digs for her seventh consecutive double-digit dig performance. Garcia also added two service aces and now owns a team-high 21 aces this season.

Johnson (seven kills and seven digs) and Harris (six kills and two total blocks) also had solid outings for the Flames. Johnson leads the squad with 192 kills this season while Harris owns 39 total blocks in 52 sets played.

UIC concludes a four-match home stand Saturday when the Flames play host to Green Bay. First serve is scheduled for 4 p.m. inside the Flames Athletic Center. Green Bay dropped a five-set thriller at Valparaiso Friday night and enters the match at 7-8 overall. The Phoenix also carry a 2-1 Horizon League record into Saturday’s contest.