The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire volleyball team's historic season came to an end on Friday night as the Blugolds fell to No. 1-ranked Calvin 3-2 (25-23, 22-25, 17-25, 25-20, 13-15).
The 14th-ranked Blugolds came out firing, taking the first set 25-23. Calvin came right back in set two and took at 23-17 lead but Eau Claire fought back to bring the score to 24-22 after a pair of kills by Madelyn Pashibin (Sr. – Minneapolis, MN/Southwest) and an attack error by Calvin, but it would not be enough as a Grace Kellogg kill sealed a set two win for the Knights.
Calvin owned set three, coming away with a 25-17 win but the Blugolds were not done yet. A Krista Meyer (So. – Germantown, WI) and Arianna Barrett (Fr. – Lakeville, MN/North) block gave Eau Claire a 17-10 lead in the fourth set, forcing Calvin to call a timeout, capping a 9-2 run. Meyer and Makenzie Bachmann (So. – Chaska, MN) would come up with another big block to give UWEC a 19-12 edge but the Knights would not go away, coming back within two, 19-17.
A Barrett kill and ace by Libby Macken (Fr. – Centerville, MN/Centennial) increased the lead to four and Bachmann, Pashibin, Meyer and Barrett would all get kills down the stretch to get a 25-20 win and force another set.
The decisive fifth set was another thriller that saw the score tied seven times but Eau Claire would come up just short, 15-13.
Barrett led the Blugolds with 17 kills while Pashibin followed with 15 and Meyer also tallied double digits with 11. Meyer recorded a team-high seven block assists and one solo block.
Taylor Scalia (So. – Lake Elmo, MN/Stillwater) led Eau Claire with 23 digs and tallied an ace while Bachmann added 16 digs along with nine kills.
Madison Surprise (Sr. – Appleton, WI/Kimberly) dished out 58 assists in addition to six digs and two aces.
Eau Claire wraps up the season with an overall record of 33-4 and as one of the top four teams in the nation, the highest finish in program history. Follow UWEC next season on Blugold Game Day or on the 'UWEC Blugolds' app on your mobile device.