Volleyball Set To Close Out Regular Season Play
Nov. 11, 2011
CHICAGO – The UIC volleyball team (14-13/7-8 Horizon) plays host to Milwaukee in the final regular season match of the season Saturday at 6:00 p.m. (CT) inside the Flames Athletic Center in Chicago, Ill.
SCOUTING THE FLAMES: UIC has posted a 14-13 record with a 7-8 record in Horizon League play and is in fifth place entering the final weekend of competition. Kelsey Safranek (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South) has hammered down 439 kills on the season to place her atop the conference list of kills per set at a clip of 4.43. Freshman Sara Sternard (Clarendon Hills, Ill./Westmont) and junior redshirt captain Janise Dismuke (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods) are in seventh place (.283) and eighth place (.276), in that order in the league for hitting percentage. Sophomore captain MaryKate Imrie (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) leads the Horizon League in assists per set with 10.95.
SCOUTING THE PANTHERS: Milwaukee enters the match with a 21-4 record, including a perfect 14-0 record against conference opponents. The squad leads the conference in kills at 13.87 per set, while Rachel Neuberger is atop the conference list in hitting percentage at .333. Kerri Schuh has hammered down 324 (.250) kills to lead the Panthers.
FLAMES AND PANTHERS IN 2011: The Flames fell in a 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-17) decision Oct. 4 to Milwaukee at the Klotsche Center in Milwaukee, Wis. For the third-consecutive match Safranek led all players in kills as she hammered down 17 in the match.
LAST TIME OUT: The UIC volleyball squad dropped a hard-fought match to Youngstown State, 3-2 (21-25, 21-25, 25-20, 25-20, 14-16) Nov. 5 inside the Beeghly Center in Youngstown, Ohio. Safranek recorded a career-high 33 kills and added six digs to pace the UIC effort. The Flames hit at a .276 clip in large part due to the effort of Allgood, who hit an impressive .548 and contributed 18 kills. Imrie logged a double-double with a match-high 61 assists and career-best 21 digs.
FLAMES ON A ROLL: The UIC squad began the season on a five-match winning streak as the team defeated Nebraska-Omaha (3-1), Bradley (3-0), Western Illinois (3-1), DePaul (3-1) and Montana State (3-1). The five-match winning streak marked the best start a Flames volleyball team has had since 2000 when the squad began the season with a 6-0 run. Before the 3-0 loss to Milwaukee, UIC had its second five-match winning streak, beginning with a victory over Chicago State (3-0), Loyola (3-1), Green Bay (3-2), Butler (3-2) and Wright State (3-0).
FLAMES PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Safranek and Sternard have both been selected as the Horizon League Offensive Player of the Week. Safranek earned the honor during the week of Sept. 5 after her stellar play at the Dunn Hospitality Invitational where totaled 55 kills at a clip of .202, while chipping in 33 digs and three service aces to earn herself a spot on the all-tournament team. Sternard was selected for the week of Sept. 19 after her solid play in the 3-1 victory over Loyola (Sept. 23), followed by edging out Green Bay, 3-2 on Sept. 24. Sternard had eight kills at a clip of .538 against the Ramblers and 12 kills with a .600 hitting percentage against Green Bay.
ALL-TOURNAMENT SELECTIONS: The Flames began their season at Bradley’s tournament, the CEFCU Classic, where Dismuke returned to her hometown to be selected as the tournament MVP, while Safranek and Imrie were named to the all-tournament team. UIC then welcomed DePaul, Loyola and Northwestern to the Flames Athletic Facility for the Chicagoland Challenge and Safranek and Sternard earned all-tournament honors. During the final tournament, the Dunn Hospitality Invitational, Safranek was again selected as a member of the all-tournament team.