Volleyball Stages Furious Rally Past Raiders, 3-2
Oct. 30, 2009
CHICAGO- Down two sets to none and facing a sweep with a three-point deficit late in the third game, the UIC volleyball team rallied furiously to take three straight sets and defeat visiting Wright State, 3-2 (20-25, 17-25, 25-23, 25-18, 15-10), at the Flames Athletic Center on Friday night.
The Flames (14-13, 7-5 Horizon League) extended their winning streak to four matches and picked up another critical league victory in the race to qualify for the Horizon League tournament.
Casie Sullivan led four Flames in double-figure kills with 17 while adding 11 digs for a double-double. Jessica Dalke chipped in 56 assists and 11 digs, while Lana Lobdell totaled seven kills in 10 attempts and turned away eight opposing attacks in the final three sets.
The Raiders (10-17, 2-10 Horizon League) played much better than their record would indicate, jumping out to a nine-point lead in the first set that carried them to a five-point opening-game victory.
Wright State broke open a tight second game by outscoring the Flames 19-8 and winning 25-17 heading into intermission.
Lobdell, who missed the first two sets due to an injury, was inserted into the lineup in the set three. The Flames and Raiders engaged in a close battle throughout, and Wright State appeared on the way to a sweep when the visitors went up 23-20 on one of Jessica Woods' match-high 21 kills.
The Flames evened the third set on a Nicole Allgood kill and two consecutive Raider errors. A third straight Raider miscue gave the Flames game point, and Wright State head coach Trina Smith was given a red card that awarded UIC a point and the set.
It was all Flames in the next set. UIC never trailed in game four, leading by as many as 10 and wrapping up the match-tying set on an emphatic Epiphany Davis kill.
That forced a fifth and deciding set, a frame in which the Flames jumped out to a 4-1 advantage. Wright State roared back with a 5-2 run to even the set at 6-6, and the game remained a back-and-forth affair until the score went to 10-10.
Sullivan knocked down a go-ahead kill and started a string of five straight points for the Flames, with each of the final four involving Lobdell. The senior sandwiched a pair of assists with kills of her own, including the deciding match point to finish the impressive comeback.
"From game three on we played well as a team," said UIC head coach Katie Schumacher-Cawley. "We passed well. Piff [Davis] and Lana came on, Janice [Dismuke] did a good job, and our blocking and defense stepped up big time in games four and five.
"Our energy in the last two games was what it should have been in the first two," said Schumacher-Cawley. "We flipped the switch."
UIC Athletics raised nearly $300 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research and awareness, with special thanks to Paul Mitchell The School Chicago for donating free haircuts in exchange for donations to the non-profit organization.
The Flames host league-leading Cleveland State on Halloween Saturday at 4 p.m. inside the Flames Athletic Center.
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