Volleyball team nets sixth straight win

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The UW-Eau Claire women’s volleyball team has won six straight matches over a two-week span, and they have not lost a set since Oct. 25.

The Blugolds competed in the Illinois Wesleyan University Tournament this past weekend as they faced Monmouth College (Ill.), Illinois Wesleyan University, Concordia University (Wis.) and Millikin University (Ill.), defeating all four teams 3-0.

Head coach Kim Wudi said one of her team’s goals this past weekend was to get more people involved offensively.

“All season we have been relying on Kelly Schuh and Katrina Raskie, other teams have recognized that and played their defense accordingly,” Wudi said. “To be successful we need to have other people step up and put the ball away for us, and we were able to do that.”

Wudi said her team’s ability to achieve their weekly goals comes from their work in practice.

“It started from a great week of preparation, and to be able to transfer that into the games was very exciting,” Wudi said.

Junior Alexis Wong was named to the All-Tournament Team when the competition concluded.

Wong said she was surprised when she found out she made the team.

“I didn’t see it coming at all, but I was really excited,” Wong said. “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates.”

Wong had nine serving aces and only committed three hitting errors all weekend. Wudi said the fact she only committed three errors was phenomenal, and that her ability to score points from behind the serving line is a key for them.

“She can change the momentum of the game by serving aggressively,” Wudi said. “We really rely on her serve.”

Freshman Maggie Holcombe also was named to the All-Tournament team, and like Wong, she said she was caught by surprise when she heard the news, but ultimately was excited.

“I thought all the players on our team played well, and that any one of us could have been named to that team.” Holcombe said.

Holcombe recorded team high 136 assists in the stretch of four games. Wudi said Holcombe’s ability to make an impact on the team as a freshman stems from the fact that she is a great student of the game.

“She made some great decisions and distributed the ball very well,” Wudi said. “She was also effective serving and blocking.”

The Blugolds look to carry their balanced offense into the WIAC Championship Tournament at UW-Stevens Point this upcoming weekend. The Blugolds have a first round bye and will not be in action until the semifinals.

The WIAC Tournament is single elimination, meaning that it only takes one loss for a team’s season to be over. The winner of the tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament

Wudi said her team knows they cannot simply ride their current momentum into their next game.

“We are excited about how we are playing, but the thing about this group is we realize every game is a new game, Wudi said. “We know that there is no guarantee that our season will get to continue unless we win both matches on Saturday.”

 The Blugolds will play either UW-Whitewater or UW-Platteville Saturday at 5 p.m.

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