Flames Conclude Season with Four-Set Win Over Wright State

Maggie Strus tied a season high with 24 digs in the four-set win over Wright State
Maggie Strus tied a season high with 24 digs in the four-set win over Wright State

Nov. 16, 2013

Box Score
2013 Horizon League Volleyball Championship Bracket
Final 2013 Statistics
Final 2013 Statistics (Horizon League Only)

DAYTON, Ohio – Junior Sara Sternard tied her career high with 19 kills and the UIC volleyball team (9-21, 4-10 Horizon League) defeated Wright State in four sets (15-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-23) Saturday afternoon inside McLin Gymnasium. The Flames ended the regular season one League win short of qualifying for postseason play as Cleveland State (15-12, 5-9 HL) defeated league-leading Milwaukee, 3-2, Saturday to solidify the sixth and final spot of the Horizon League Championship, which will begin on Nov. 22.

Wright State (6-26, 0-14 Horizon League) outhit UIC (.140-.121) but the Flames put down four more kills (51-47). The Raiders also had 12 total blocks while the Flames collected seven.

Wright State put down 15 kills and forced eight UIC attack errors in a 25-15 first set victory. UIC held a 10-9 advantage in the second set following a Raider attack error and the Flames never relinquished the lead in a 25-23 win. Wright State trimmed the UIC lead to 24-23 but Kara Johnson’s fourth kill of the frame tied the match at 1-1.

Wright State tied the third set at 13-13 before UIC scored eight out of the next nine points. Sternard put down seven kills on 11 attempts in the set and UIC led 2-1 following a 25-21 victory.

The Flames held a 21-16 advantage in the fourth set but the Raiders rallied to tie the set at 23-23 following a Tracy Friel attack error. Back-to-back kills by Sternard and McCoy gave UIC its fourth Horizon League victory of the season.

Sternard only needed 37 attempts to put down 19 kills and record her team-high 18th double-digit performance of the season. She finished the 2013-14 campaign with a team-high 329 kills and owns 763 entering her senior season.

Sternard also collected 19 kills against Loyola Chicago earlier this month (Nov. 6). She finished with a .405 attack percentage against Wright State, the ninth time this season she hit over .400. Sternard also picked up two block assists and led the squad with 80 total blocks this season.

Senior MaryKate Imrie had 42 assists and 13 digs for her sixth double-double of the season. She finished her UIC career with 3,634 assists and 1,041 digs. Imrie’s assist total ranks third all-time in program history.

Senior Justine Garcia recorded her 21st double-digit dig effort of the season with 10 digs in the final match of her career. Garcia led UIC with 352 digs this season and concluded her UIC career with 1,036 digs. She also finished with a team-high 34 service aces after two aces against the Raiders.

Junior Maggie Strus tied a season-high with 24 digs. She also tallied 24 digs against Drake at the Hawkeye Invitational (Sept. 13). Strus finished the 2013-14 campaign with 298 digs and will enter her senior season with 1,250 career digs, which ranks seventh in program history. If she totals 282 digs as a senior, Strus will become UIC’s all-time dig leader.  

Freshman Kara Johnson collected her fourth double-double of the season with 11 kills and 12 digs. Johnson capped her first season at UIC with 304 kills, 219 digs and 20 service aces.

Freshman Casey Harris set a new career high with 10 kills on 32 attempts. She also collected four block assists and one solo block against the Raiders. Harris concluded her freshman season with 153 kills and 73 total blocks, including a team-high 39 blocks during League play.

Junior Molly McCoy contributed seven kills on 27 attempts. She finished with 255 kills this season and will have 479 career kills entering her senior season. McCoy, who missed four matches in October, ranked second on the squad with 2.80 kills per set.

Katie Schumacher-Cawley will enter her sixth season as head coach in 2014 with 71 victories at the helm of the UIC program. Schumacher-Cawley earned a four-year contract in March and will be the Flames’ leader through 2017.

The Flames bring back a large senior class in 2014 as Sternard, Strus, McCoy and Olivia Desormey will be in their final seasons at UIC. Productive freshmen Kara Johnson and Casey Harris also return while redshirt freshman setter Nicole Johnson looks to quarterback the Flames' offense.

2013 Horizon League Volleyball Championship Schedule

Friday, November 22
4:30 p.m. CT – (5) Youngstown State vs. (4) Green Bay
7:00 p.m. CT – (6) Cleveland State vs. (3) Oakland

Saturday, November 23
4:30 p.m. CT – Lowest remaining seed from QF vs. (1) Milwaukee
7:00 p.m. CT – Highest remaining seed from QF vs. (2) Valparaiso

Sunday, November 24
1:00 p.m. CT – Championship Match