The University of Wisconsin-Platteville volleyball team dropped a 25-21, 21-25, 25-23, 22-25, 15-8 decision to host Viterbo University on Wednesday night.
The Pioneers (10-6) were led by Stephanie Kirchner (pictured from earlier this season; photo by Tyler Ensrude), who had a match-high 14 kills as well as four block assists and nine digs in the loss. LeeAnn Mizgalski had 11 kills and Emily Kaiser and Samantha Rampart each had 10 kills in the defeat. It marks the first time in 2011 that UW-Platteville has lost a match that went to five sets.
The V-Hawks (22-4) out hit the Pioneers by a .162 to .120 margin, including a .250 to a .-150 margin in the fifth and deciding set. Katie Flock had 13 kills and was involved in four blocks as Viterbo had 14 blocks compared to eight for the Pioneers. Alicia Olson had two block solos and three block assists to go along with 11 kills in the win.
In the fifth and deciding set, UW-Platteville built a short-lived 3-1 lead until Viterbo scored five of the next six points to build a lead they would not relinquish for the remainder of the set. To force a fifth set, in the fourth set, the two teams went back and forth until a three-point push by the Pioneers put UW-Platteville up 22-19. In the spurt, Emily and Briana Kaiser each had a kill and the Pioneers took advantage of a V-Hawks hitting error.
In the third set, the Pioneers rallied from an 18 to 15 deficit to take a 19-18 lead. The set remained close and was tied at 22 until Viterbo scored three of the next four points to take a 25-22 victory. The second set saw UW-Platteville score the final five points of the set – two of which came on kills by Rampart and three more on hitting errors by the V-Hawks. The first set was the only one on the evening where a team led from start to finish. Viterbo went on an early 11 to 3 run and never looked back.
The Pioneers are back in action, this weekend, when they travel to the Illinois Wesleyan Invitational, Sept. 30-Oct. 1. On Friday, the Pioneers will face Culver Stockton and host Illinois Wesleyan and on Saturday, they will face North Central and Robert Morris-Peoria.