Volleyball upsets UW-Stevens Point, beats Luther

Blugold volleyball ended the regular season with two wins
Volleyball took down the Pointers at home on Friday
Volleyball took down the Pointers at home on Friday

The UW-Eau Claire volleyball team upset No. 20 UW-Stevens Point in front of a packed McPhee gym on Friday night. 

After a back-and-forth game, the Blugolds took down the Pointers in five sets, claiming the final set 15-9, according to Blugold Athletics.

The team started the game out in an intense first set, falling 24-26, before overpowering UW-Stevens Point in the second set, 25-14.

“That first set was probably the most exciting set, in terms of coming down to the end,” head coach Kim Wudi said. “But for us to recover and come out strong in set two, I think that set the pace for the rest of the match.”

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Despite losing the next set 19-25, the Blugolds managed to force the fifth set by winning the fourth set 25-18. 

Sheridan Dettman, fifth-year libero, said that she felt the team’s momentum shift during the fourth set. 

“(That set) we kept battling, and we were recovering really well from our errors or any points that we lost,” she said. “We just had to keep thinking about the next ball.”

She also said the team had been waiting for a big win like this. 

“This win really proved to us that we can do this, and I think it’s a big win as we head into the postseason,” Dettman said. 

Avery Pennekamp, second-year pin, finished the night with a team-high 12 kills. She said her confidence to stay aggressive and keep hitting comes from her team. 

“My teammates give me all the confidence in the world, just knowing that they have my back and I have theirs,” Pennekamp said. 

For Wudi, the win meant more than just volleyball as she said the team’s confidence and resilience is something that they can carry on throughout their lives. 

“When (we have) a match like that, where everybody is locked in, it’s not just confidence and resilience in volleyball: it’s something to carry on for life,” Wudi said. “It is a lesson for us to carry on as we continue this season, but it’s also a life lesson for them to learn that they’re never out.”

The following day, UW-Eau Claire traveled to Luther College for their final regular season game where they made quick work of the Norse volleyball team, taking them down 3-0 with set scores of 25-20, 25-18 and 25-14.

Bailey Leeke and Lili Hagg led the team in kills with nine while Charlie Nelson took control of the team’s assists, finishing with 18. 

Dettmann, MacKenzie Houser and Ella Kiebel collected five digs each to keep the team together on defense. 

Heading into playoffs, Pennekamp said she is ready to take on the challenge with her teammates

“I’m excited to get after it,” she said. “I have so much faith in this team, and I’m just excited to see how far we can go.”

The Blugolds will start playoffs on Tuesday as they travel to UW-Stevens Point to once again take on the Pointers. Game time is 7 p.m. If the Blugolds win, they will advance to the semifinals on Thursday. 


Hokanson can be reached at [email protected].

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