UIC Volleyball Vies For Tournament Title On Sunday Versus UW-Milwaukee
Nov. 18, 2006
Dayton, Ohio - The UIC volleyball advances to the 2006 Horizon League Tournament title match on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 1:30 p.m. (Central) after topping Cleveland State in five games (28-30, 30-25, 23-30, 30-26, 16-14) on Saturday. The last time UIC won a conference tournament championship was in 1989 when the Flames were members of the North Star Conference.
No. 2 seed UIC faces off against No. 1 UW-Milwaukee for the tournament championship and an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament after the Panthers dropped No. 4 UW-Green Bay, 3-1, in today's final semifinal contest.
"We are excited about a rematch tomorrow versus the Panthers," said head coach Nancy Mueller. "We played a solid volleyball match and put forth a team effort in the win. The title match should be great head-to-head competition because of the talent on both teams."
UIC advanced to the championship match after sweeping Butler on Friday, Nov. 16, followed by a five-game victory over Cleveland State on Saturday.
Ambria Springer led the Flames with a match-high 23 kills and a season-high nine blocks and a .367 attack percentage. Junior Amanda Kenny picked up her 13th season double-double with 18 kills and 13 digs. Katarina Nedeljkovic continued to dominate on both sides of the net with 14 kills and 14 digs and a team-high five service aces.
The Vikings jumped out to an early lead with a two-point win in game one (30-28). Cleveland State notched two more kills than the Flames with 18 and posted a .244 attack percentage.
Trailing 12-6, UIC sparked a 9-3 run to knot game two at 15-15. The Vikings regained the lead briefly before the Flames posted a second run (14-5), tying the match at 1-1 (30-25).
Recording a .333 attack percentage in game three, Cleveland State answered with a seven-point win in game three (30-23).
With the season on the line, UIC stormed ahead in game four, taking a 15-11 advantage. The Vikings got within one point (19-18), but the Flames regained the momentum to force the match into a fifth game (30-26).
UIC held the Vikings to a .065 attack percentage and forced the squad to commit six errors in the final game of the match. The game was tied eight times before Cleveland State took the lead and was one point away from advancing to the title match at 14-13.
Refusing to go quietly, the Flames battled back and notched three straight points, ending on a kill from Kenny for the 16-14 victory.