The University of Wisconsin-Platteville volleyball team dropped a 19-25, 25-23, 25-13, 20-25, 15-13 decision to UW-Eau Claire in the third-place match of the WIAC Tournament on Saturday afternoon.
The Pioneers (21-16) were led by junior Samantha Rampart and sophomore Emily Kaiser, who each had 12 kills and sophomore Stephanie Kirchner had a double double with 13 digs and 10 kills, respectively. Senior Ali Sikic had 48 assists and senior Briana Kaiser had nine kills in their final matches in the Pioneer blue and orange uniform.
The Blugolds (22-12) service game was a key factor in the match with 10 service aces and the play of Kelly Schuh, who had 12 kills and 11 digs. Liz Amici and Laura Slinger led an UW-Eau Claire attack that out hit UW-Platteville by a .201 to .169 with 18 kills each. Libero Lauren Sutherland had 20 digs and Emily Neave set up the attack with 51 assists.
The two teams split the first four sets before deciding the match in the fifth set. The set went back and forth until UW-Platteville went up 8-5 on a 3-0 spurt. To spark the spurt, Emily Kaiser and Briana Kaiser as well as Sikic each had a kill for the Pioneers. The spurt prompted a Blugolds timeout.
UW-Eau Claire came back and eventually tied the set at 11. After back-to-back kills by the Blugolds, UW-Platteville called its final timeout, trailing 13-11. The Pioneers cut the deficit to one, 13-12 when sisters Emily and Briana Kaiser teamed up on a block. Kelly Schruh and Amy Bomgren each recorded kills down the stretch to record the victory for UW-Eau Claire.
Next, the NCAA Division III Volleyball Tournament selection field will be announced on Monday, Nov. 7th.