RIVER FALLS, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – After a week off, the UW-Eau Claire volleyball team got back on the court tonight and defeated UW-River Falls 3-1 at the Karges Center, picking up its fifth straight win.
The Blugolds (18-9, 4-2 WIAC) narrowly dropped the first set, 25-23, to the Falcons (19-9, 4-2 WIAC). Eau Claire jumped out to a 4-0 advantage and pushed its lead to 6-1 before things started going the Falcons' way. At the end of the set, River Falls led 24-21 before the Blugolds called a timeout and then came back to score two in a row. But the Falcons got the final point to win 25-23.
Eau Claire won the next three sets to win the match. To get things going in the second set, the Blugolds never trailed and won 25-19.
The third set was closely contested but Eau Claire came out on top 27-25. Eau Claire again started out with the lead but the Falcons eventually built a 12-10 advantage midway through the set. It was 19-17 in favor of the Falcons at one point and they worked their way to a 24-23 lead before Eau Claire outscored River Falls 4-1 the remainder of the set to win 27-25.
In the fourth and final set, the Blugolds had little trouble finishing off the Falcons. After River Falls jumped out to a 3-1 lead, the Blugolds scored five straight to take a 6-3 lead and never looked back. Eau Claire scored the rest of its points in streaks and won the set 25-12 and the match 3-1.
Leading the Blugolds in kills was Kelly Riesgraf (Fr.-Chaska, Minn.) with 10. Two others each added nine as the Blugolds finished with 42 for the match. River Falls completed the match with 45 kills.
Lauren Sutherland (Jr.-Dayton, Minn./Meadow Creek Christian) recorded a match-best 26 digs while Emily Neave (Sr.-Salem, Wis./Westosha Central) had a team-high 31 set assists. Alexis Wong (So.-Maple Grove, Minn.) finished with a match-high four service aces.
The Blugolds have now won 15 straight matches over the Falcons going back to 2005.
This weekend the Blugolds will be at the Elmhurst College Tournament in Illinois for four matches. They kick off the weekend against North Park (Ill.) at 4 p.m. Friday. After the weekend, the Blugolds will wrap up the regular season with two conference road matches Oct. 26 and 27.