Blugold women’s volleyball improves record to 5-0

    UW-Eau Claire bests UW-Stevens Point in four sets

    More stories from Luke Alex


    Photo by Kar Wei Cheng

    Abby Volk delivers a spike against UW-Stevens Point.

    The No.15-ranked Blugold women’s volleyball team continued their streak of dominance in WIAC with a home win over UW-Stevens Point in four sets on Saturday to improve to 5-0 in the conference.

    Head Coach Kim Wudi attributes the successful season to the commitment and determination of her players.

    “All 16 players are bought in to what we are doing,” Wudi said. “They all believe that they are the margin of victory.”

    Although important, successful play on the court is not the only factor that is leading the Blugolds to a rewarding season. Leah Witzel, a second-year setter, said the energy and support of the players on the bench plays a large role in a match.

    “When we celebrate a bunch on the bench it carries over to the court,” Witzel said. “It brings them momentum and that helps them be successful.”

    Madelyn Pashibin, a fourth-year, led the Blugolds with 15 kills and said she credits her success playing above the net to her teammates.

    “My teammates really help me,” Pashibin said. “They support me and give me the confidence to just go swing away.”

    The Blugolds started off the set fast, taking a 19-10 lead before UW-Stevens Point rallied a comeback that tied the game at 22-22. The Blugolds came out firing after a timeout and won the set 25-23.

    In the second set, Pashibin earned six of her 15 kills and was well-assisted by Madison Surprise, a fourth-year setter, who ultimately finished the night with 45 assists. The Blugolds took the second set 25-20.

    No team led by more than three points in a close third set until the score was tied 21-21. The Blugolds lost control of the set with a series of kills by UW-Stevens Point and errors by UW-Eau Claire. UW-Stevens Point won four straight points and took the set 25-21.

    In a tightly contested fourth set, both teams stayed within two points of each other until late in the set. With the score tied 22-22, UW-Stevens Point called a timeout that gave Wudi a chance to speak with her players.

    “We got in a situation where it was just going to be back-and-forth,” Wudi said. “So I told them that we need to go earn our points however we can. It’s something we have actually worked on all year.”

    The Blugolds did exactly that, winning three straight points to close out the set and match 25-22.

    Wudi said the future success of the Blugolds seems bright if they can keep up the valuable team chemistry they have developed throughout the rigorous season.

    “It’s the intangible that is really elusive,” Wudi said. “It doesn’t score you any more points on the court, but, when people are working for somebody else, it really helps the team.”

    The Blugold volleyball team will play at home again on Oct. 26. They will face UW-Whitewater and hold a senior night celebration.

    Alex can be reached at [email protected].