UIC Volleyball Drops Four-Set Thriller to Cleveland State

Justine Garcia (13 digs) reached 1,000 career digs on Senior Day
Justine Garcia (13 digs) reached 1,000 career digs on Senior Day

Nov. 9, 2013

Box Score

CHICAGO - The UIC volleyball team recorded its second-best offensive performance of the season but dropped a 3-1 decision (25-21, 25-23, 18-25, 25-22) to Cleveland State Saturday afternoon. Cleveland State (14-11, 4-8 Horizon League) had 13 total blocks against UIC (8-20, 3-9 Horizon League) and regained the sixth spot of the Horizon League Championship.

UIC put down one more kill than Cleveland State (59-58) and recorded a better attack percentage (.248-.225). However, the Vikings used clutch blocks late in sets to capture the match win.

The first set was tied 18-18 following Molly McCoy’s fourth kill of the set. The Flames trimmed the Viking advantage to 22-21 on Olivia Desormey’s fifth kill of the set but Cleveland State rallied off three straight points to pick up the 25-21 victory.

Cleveland State held a 23-18 advantage in the second set before UIC rallied to tie it at 23-23 on McCoy’s seventh kill of the set. A Viking kill and McCoy attack error gave Cleveland State a 2-0 lead.

The score was tied at 9-9 in the third set before UIC pulled away for a 25-18 victory behind 17 kills and a .394 attack percentage. UIC collected four total blocks and held Cleveland State to a .121 attack percentage in the third set.

UIC led 17-12 in the fourth set following Sara Sternard’s tenth kill of the match. The Vikings scored seven consecutive points to hold a 19-17 advantage. The Flames regained the lead at 22-21 after Desormey’s 11th kill of the match but Cleveland State sealed the victory with a 4-0 rally.

MaryKate Imrie was honored on Senior Day and handed out 45 assists on UIC’s 59 kills. She owns 3,546 career assists and needs eight more to move past Carlyn Fisk (3,553 - 1988-91) into third all-time in program history.

With her friends and family in attendance, senior Justine Garcia passed the 1,000 dig mark in the final home match of her career. She compiled 13 digs and now owns 1,011 in her career.  

Junior Maggie Strus entered the program’s record book with a match-high 16 digs. She now owns 1,210 career digs, which ranks tenth in UIC history. Strus can jump two spots in the rankings if she collects 14 digs over the final two matches of the season.

Junior Molly McCoy led the Flames with 17 kills on 38 attempts. McCoy’s performance is her highest output since a career-high 19 kills against Marshall (Sept. 6). She put down 12 kills on 21 swings over the first two sets.

Junior Olivia Desormey easily set a career high with 11 kills on 18 attempts for an impressive .444 attack percentage. Desormey, who had five kills on six swings in the first set, finished the weekend with 18 kills on 34 attempts.

Freshman Kara Johnson collected her third consecutive double-digit effort with 11 kills on 31 attempts. She put down nine kills on 15 swings over the final two sets.

Junior Sara Sternard contributed 10 kills on 30 attempts for her team-high 16th double-digit effort of the season. She added four total blocks and her 14th service ace of the season.

UIC caps the 2013 regular season on the road next weekend. The Flames travel to take on Oakland (Nov. 15) and Wright State (Nov. 16). UIC is one win behind Cleveland State for the sixth and final spot of the Horizon League Championship.