UIC Volleyball Wins Five-Set Thriller at Cleveland State

Freshman Casey Harris set a UIC season high with nine blocks
Freshman Casey Harris set a UIC season high with nine blocks

Oct. 11, 2013

Box Score

CLEVELAND - The UIC volleyball team (6-13, 1-3 Horizon League) fought back from a 2-0 deficit to rally for a 3-2 victory (16-25, 18-25, 25-18, 26-24, 15-13) over Cleveland State (12-5, 2-2 Horizon League) Friday night. The Flames received 13 kills from junior Sara Sternard and picked up their first league win of the season in thrilling fashion.

Senior MaryKate Imrie (40 assists and 11 digs) picked up her second double-double of the season while freshmen Kara Johnson (eight kills, 10 digs and four service aces) and Casey Harris (eight kills and nine blocks) were instrumental in the comeback.

Junior Olivia Desormey (seven kills and four blocks) and sophomore Melissa Nava (seven kills and two blocks) provided a major presence at the net and slowed down CSU's offensive attack. Senior Justine Garcia recorded her ninth consecutive double-digit dig performance and nearly set a season high with 17 digs.

Redshirt sophomore Tracy Friel added 11 digs for the UIC defensive effort, which limited CSU to a .027 attack percentage in the final three sets. The Flames set a season high with 12 total blocks.

UIC held an early 4-2 lead in the first set and Desormey put down four kills on six attempts in the frame. However, CSU would go on to record 14 kills, three blocks and three service aces in a 25-16 victory.

UIC jumped out to a 10-7 lead in the second set following a dual block by Harris and Desormey. The Vikings would fight back and hold a 14-12 advantage following a Kerry Winchester ace. Sternard’s second kill of the set narrowed the CSU lead to 15-14 but the Vikings finished the set on a 10-4 run to collect a 25-18 victory.

UIC scored seven out of eight points early in the third set and led 11-6 following Johnson’s third ace of the match. The Vikings tied it up at 11-11 but UIC responded with three straight points to take control of the set. Sternard put down five kills on ten swings while Desormey had three kills on five attempts in the 25-18 win.

The Flames used five team blocks to win a tightly contested fourth set, which featured eight ties and six lead changes. CSU tied it at 24-24 following a Vikings’ block but a Nava kill and Harris’ fourth block of the set forced a fifth set.

The decisive fifth frame was stalemated until Sternard’s fourth kill of the set put UIC up 14-13. With Friel serving, the Flames’ intimidating block forced Kerry Winchester to send an attack long and UIC had rallied back for its first Horizon League victory of the season.

UIC concludes its swing through Ohio Saturday as the Flames take on Youngstown State. The match is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. CST inside the Beeghly Center. The Penguins dropped a 3-0 home decision to Valparaiso Friday night to fall to 10-9 and 2-2 in Horizon League play.