UIC Volleyball Takes Down Youngstown State in Four Sets

Kara Johnson led UIC with 13 kills in Friday night's 3-1 victory over Youngstown State
Kara Johnson led UIC with 13 kills in Friday night's 3-1 victory over Youngstown State

Nov. 8, 2013

Box Score

CHICAGO – The UIC volleyball team captured the final three sets of a 3-1 home win (17-25, 25-18, 25-13, 25-23) over Youngstown State Friday night inside the Flames Athletic Center. UIC (8-19, 3-8 Horizon League) hit over .200 as a team (.206) for the first time since Sept. 21.

Over the final three sets, UIC hit at a .255 clip and held Youngstown State (14-12, 6-5 Horizon League) to a .116 attack percentage. Overall, the Flames totaled 50 kills, eight blocks and six service aces against the Penguins.

The first set was tied at 8-8 following a kill by Olivia Desormey but Youngstown State put down 13 kills on only 29 attempts in a 25-17 victory. The Flames dominated the next two sets as the Penguins never held a lead.

The final set was tightly contested as it featured 10 ties and seven lead changes. Kara Johnson’s 12th kill of the match tied the score at 19-19. With Tracy Friel serving, the Flames reeled off three straight points and held a 22-19 advantage following Friel’s second ace of the match. Youngstown State trimmed the UIC lead to 24-23 but a Penguin attack error ended the match and gave the Flames their third Horizon League victory of the season.

Freshman Kara Johnson led the Flames with 13 kills on 27 attempts for a season-high .333 attack percentage. Johnson’s performance is her 12th double-digit effort of the season. She put down four kills on four swings in the third set and six on 12 attempts in the final frame.

Junior Sara Sternard had an all-around solid performance with 11 kills, five blocks and three aces. The three aces are a career-high while the five blocks ties a season-high. She put down five kills on 10 attempts in the fourth set.

Senior MaryKate Imrie had 37 assists, 13 digs, a career-high four blocks and a service ace. It is her team-high fourth double-double of the season and the first UIC double-double since Oct. 12, when Imrie accomplished the feat at Youngstown State.

Imrie passed the 1,000-career dig mark (1,005) and owns 3,501 career assists. She needs 53 more assists to move past Carlyn Fisk (3,553 - 1988-91) into third all-time in program history.

Junior Molly McCoy put down 10 kills on 32 attempts for her first double-digit effort since Sept. 21. McCoy, who owns 11 double-digit efforts this season, had five kills on nine attempts in the second set.  

Junior Maggie Strus compiled a match-high 18 digs and owns 1,194 career digs. She needs 16 more digs to enter the program's Top 10.

Redshirt sophomore Tracy Friel picked up two aces to raise her season total to 24. She added 11 digs for her seventh double-digit performance of the season and first since Oct. 11. Senior Justine Garcia had nine digs to raise her career total to 998.

UIC is back in action Saturday (Nov. 9) when the Flames play host to Cleveland State. The match is schedule to begin at 4 p.m. inside the Flames Athletic Center. UIC will honor the careers of seniors MaryKate Imrie and Justine Garcia prior to the match.

UIC jumped Cleveland State (13-11, 3-8 Horizon League) in the Horizon League standings Friday night after the Vikings were swept by Valparaiso. UIC holds the tiebreaker with Cleveland State for the sixth and final spot of the Horizon League Championships due to the Flames' five-set victory over the Vikings earlier this season (Oct. 11).