The Blugolds fall short during WIAC tournament semifinals

UW-Eau Claire women’s volleyball was defeated by the UW-Whitewater Warhawks this past Thursday

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Taylor Reisdorf

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The loss this past Thursday was a tough one, but Jessica Coyne, a junior outside hitter, said she’s still proud of her team’s performance throughout this year’s season.

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The loss this past Thursday was a tough one, but Jessica Coyne, a junior outside hitter, said she’s still proud of her team’s performance throughout this year’s season.

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The UW-Eau Claire women’s volleyball team, following a weekend of major success, took a tough loss against the UW-Whitewater Warhawks this past Thursday. The loss knocked the Blugolds out of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) tournament.

“We were ready to come into it and gave it our best effort,” Jessica Coyne, a junior outside hitter said. “We’re definitely disappointed in the outcome.”

The match was over after four sets, and the first set played a large role in the Warhawks’ success, Coyne said. While the Blugolds took charge in the opener, coming ahead at 20-12, the Warhawks were quick to recover with a 7-0 run. By the end of the first set, the Warhawks came out on top at 25-23.

Head Coach Kim Wudi said the team was never able to recover after that first set. While she is overall proud of the team and their ability to block and put pressure on the Warhawks, there are things that could have gone better, she said.

“We need to work on our consistency, grit and figuring out how to navigate through difficult situations,” Wudi said. “During the game, we tried to force things that weren’t there.”

The second set also ended with the Warhawks on top at 25-20. While things started to change course for the Blugolds in the third set, with Eau Claire winning it 25-23, this turn of events was short-lived. Whitewater prevailed in the fourth set, 25-20.

The Blugolds struggled throughout the match to get the ball down fast enough, communicate with one another and read the opponent’s hitting patterns, Coyne said.

“We stayed composed and did our best during time-outs to figure out the problem areas, but we need to work on closing the game when we get the opportunity,” Coyne said.  

Despite the loss, there were some players with notable performances. Madelyn Pashibin, a junior middle hitter for the Blugolds, ended the match with 16 kills. Madison Surprise, a junior setter, had 41 assists.

Three players had digs in the double digits: Makenzie Bachmann, a first-year competitor and outside hitter, had 19 digs, Talia Jaskulske, a senior defensive specialist, had 16 digs and Surprise had 12 digs.

In regards to the team’s season as a whole, Wudi said she’s sad to see the seniors leave and is proud of the team’s growth. A lot of new players were on the court this season, and Wudi said she’s excited to see what the future has in store for the team.

 

 

 

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