A potent service attack with a season-high nine service aces by the No. 24 University of Wisconsin-Platteville led the host Pioneers to a 25-14, 25-14, 25-22 win over the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in the Dig for a Cure match at Williams Fieldhouse on Wednesday night.
Sophomore Stephanie Kirchner served up a season-high six service aces to pace the UW-Platteville attack that led for nearly the entire match to lead the Pioneers to their fifth victory in a row. The win improves the Pioneers to 15-6 overall and 3-1 in the WIAC. Wisconsin-La Crosse (4-13 overall, 1-3 WIAC) was led by Katie Gunderson, who had a match-high 11 kills in the defeat for the Eagles.
Prior to the match, the Pioneers collected donations for each dig recorded in the contest. In the straight-set win, UW-Platteville recorded 43 digs and individuals are reminded to turn in their donations to the Pioneer volleyball program.
The Pioneers raced out to a 10-0 margin in the first set on the serve of Samantha Rampart. In the early run, three different Pioneers - Emily Kaiser, Stephanie Kirchner and LeeAnn Mizgalski - had two kills each for the advantage. The spurt forced UW-La Crosse to spend both of its timeouts before getting on the scoreboard. Kirchner had her first two service aces of the match and Mizgalski had six kills to pace a UW-Platteville attack that out hit UW-La Crosse by a .357 to .125 margin en route to the 25-14 margin.
The Pioneers held the lead for most of the second set despite an early 2-1 deficit. In the set, the Pioneers continued to swing for a high percentage as they out hit UW-La Crosse, .310 to .097. Briana Kaiser had four kills, Rampart, Mizgalski and Kirchner each added three kills and Ali Sikic had 13 assists.
In the third set, UW-Platteville head coach Deb Schulman shuffled her lineup, bringing Rachel Oldenburg and Amanda Fisch off the bench. The duo played a significant role as the Pioneers closed out the three-set victory. Oldenburg had three kills and Fisch added two more to go along with a team-high four from Emily Kaiser; plus Kirchner also had four service aces to close out the match.
The win extends the Pioneers home winning streak to 15 and that will be put on the line at this weekend's UW-Platteville Invitational where they will host Augustana (4 p.m.) and Elmhurst (8 p.m.) on Friday, October 7th and Cornell (10 a.m.) and Carthage (2 p.m.) on Saturday, October 8th.
Photos by Andy McNeill | Post-Match Interview with Samantha Rampart