The Blugold volleyball team fell to UW-River Falls Wednesday night but bounced back Thursday to beat St. Scholastica (Minn.) in a five game nail biter.
Wednesday night in River Falls, the Falcons jumped out to an early lead and never looked back.
The Falcons won the match in three straight games. The scores were 30-24, 30-27, 30-23.
“River Falls played a real solid match,” coach Lisa Herb said. “We didn’t have enough against them. We needed more of an edge.”
Junior middle blocker, Brooke Wozniak, was the offensive workhorse for the Blugolds in the loss. Wozniak compiled 11 kills on a .370 attacking percentage during the three games. Wozniak also had one solo block and five block assists.
Senior setter Andrea Hemple finished with 29 of Eau Claire’s 32 assists.
Junior Julie Bobbe, who is one of the team’s defensive leaders, ended up with an impressive 20 digs.
“We took a game off them in our tournament,” assistant coach Nate Somers said. “It proves they are beatable.”
The women are now 2-2 in the highly competitive WIAC. Head coach Lisa Herb said that the WIAC is one of the deepest conferences in the country. River Falls is currently atop the conference with an 18-3 overall record and a 5-0 conference mark.
The Falcons are the only team in the WIAC without a conference loss.
Somers said he thinks that River Falls is the best team in the conference.
Thursday night looked to be a repeat of Wednesday for the women with St. Scholastica busting out to a quick two-game lead.
The saints won the first two games 31-29, 30-27.
The women took a 32-31 lead into the final points of the third game though an illegal substitution nearly cost the ‘Golds the match.
Due to the infraction, the score was reversed in favor of the Saints. However, just when the women seemed down and out, they battled out a win, 36-34.
The Blugolds took the momentum from the third game win into the fourth and won that game handily, 30-22.
The fifth and deciding game was back and forth all the way through, though Eau Claire pulled out the 19-17 win.
“It was an exciting match,” Herb said. “I’m really happy that we hung in there.”
Wozniak said that the women took the Saints too lightly.
She attributed this to the two wins the Blugolds have against the Saints this season.
“We went into the match too overconfident,” Wozniak said. “We were expecting that they would just hand it to us.”
Though the women may have taken the Saints too lightly, Herb is excited that her players played with confidence when the match was close.
“People were swinging hard when the match was on the line,” she said.
The women’s next game is a conference contest Wednesday versus the UW-Stout Blue Devils.