The University of Wisconsin-Platteville volleyball team split its two matches, on Friday in day one of the UW-Platteville Invitational, defeating Augustana (Ill.) 25-17, 23-25, 25-9, 25-17 and losing to Elmhurst, 19-25, 19-25, 16-25.
Despite the split, Pioneer senior Ali Sikic (pictured from earlier this season) became the program's all-time assist leader in the third set of the match against Elmhurst. The Sugar Grove, Illinois native eclipsed the previous mark of 5,004 held by Kelly Laschinger (2004-2007) when she set sophomore Stephanie Kirchner for a kill.
The Pioneers (16-7) started the day with the victory over the Vikings to stretch its home winning streak to 16. In the win, UW-Platteville dominated the front line with 11 blocks, Emily Kaiser had eight block assists and Stephanie Kirchner added seven. Furthermore, UW-Platteville out hit Augustana by a .193 to .077 margin in the win. LeeAnn Mizgalski led three Pioneers with double-digit kills with 14 and Kirchner had a double double with 13 kills and 13 digs, plus Briana Kaiser added 11 kills. Sikic had 45 assists and Brooke Nichols added 13 digs in the victory.
Augustana (7-11) was led by Kristen Yerkes, who had eight kills and 11 digs in the loss for the Vikings. In its only set victory, the second set, Augustana out hit the Pioneers by a .048 to .025 margin.
In the nightcap, Elmhurst came out swinging from the onset as they out hit the Pioneers, .159 to -.021. Kaitlyn Wilks had seven of the 14 kills for the Blue Jays to lead the attack. In the second set, it was back and forth until a 5-1 spurt by Elmhurst put the visitors up 18 to 14 and for the rest of the set. In the third set, Elmhurst led from start to finish. With the Pioneers trailing, 13 to 9, UW-Platteville got the point on the record-breaking assist from Sikic to Kirchner. Briefly, she was recognized by the crowd and presented flowers by her parents, who were in attendance. UW-Platteville mounted a brief comeback before the Blue Jays closed out the set and the match for the victory.
The Pioneers will close out the UW-Platteville Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 8 when they host Cornell at 10 a.m. and No. 7 Carthage at 2 p.m.
Record-Tying and Record-Breaking Assist by Ali Sikic
Presentation to Sikic