UW- Eau Claire went 1-1 as it began conference play last weekend.
On Friday, the Blugolds traveled to UW- Superior and defeated the Yellowjackets 3-0.
While the first set went 25-15, the following sets were closer matchups, and Eau Claire prevailed 25-21 and 25-22.
Senior Alexis Wong had a .292 hitting percentage and led the team with 11 kills while freshman Emily Miller had eight kills and led the team with a .412 hitting percentage. Eau Claire put the pressure on Superior, forcing the Yellowjackets to less than .025 hitting in every set.
With a conference win on the road, the Blugolds returned home for a Saturday matchup against UW- La Crosse. Despite Eau Claire’s strong performance in the first two sets, the Blugolds lost the next three for their first conference loss of the season, 3-2.
Eau Claire started the first set going 12-5 before the Eagles took a timeout. The Blugolds never lost the lead until the third set and defeated La Crosse 25-20 and 25-11 in the second set.
The balance of (hitting) power shifted in the third set, with the Eagles hitting .289 while the Blugolds hit .239. The back and forth play ended with La Crosse taking their first set of the day 25-22.
With momentum on their side, La Crosse took the fourth set 25-19 evening the series at 2-2.
The match came down to a tiebreaking set, meaning only 15 points were needed to secure the match victory. La Crosse jumped to a 14-9 lead and with Eau Claire down, the Blugolds climbed to a 14-13 score before an attack error ended the match in defeat.
Wong again led the team in kills with 16 and junior Kelly Riesgraf had 12 kills and hit or .333.
Eau Claire continues conference play this week at 7 pm Wednesday when the Blugolds travel to No. 3 UW-Stevens Point. The Pointers are considered favorites to win this season’s WIAC championship and are led by the reigning WIAC Player of the Year, senior Alexis Hartman.