Volleyball Loses Five-Setter to UW-Milwaukee
Oct. 23, 2004
MILWAUKEE, Wis. - The University of Northern Colorado women's volleyball team jumped out to a 2-0 lead over the University of Milwaukee only to see the Panthers come back for a 3-2 victory, marking only the second time in the last 242 matches that the Bears had blown a 2-0 lead in a match, losing by scores of 30-22, 30-24, 27-30, 27-30 and 5-15.
UNC (17-8) had not lost after winning the first two sets since falling 3-2 to Cal State-San Bernardino on Sept. 6, 2003. Before that the last loss dates back to Sept. 19, 1997, a match versus Minnesota State.
The loss for UNC snapped a six-match winning streak and a streak of three consecutive wins in five-set matches. The Bears dropped to 4-3 overall in five-set matches this season.
The match was the second of the day for the Bears, who beat UW-Green Bay 3-0 just a few hours before their match with UW-Milwaukee.
"We played well in the first two games but we obviously can't learn the lesson that if we take 10 percent off of our game that is not good enough to win a match," a disappointed Ron Alexander said after the match. "They are a very good team, who is playing great in their conference and very well at home. We had them on the ropes and we let them off and you just can't do that at the Division I level. We can't expect to make that many errors and win."
UNC jumped out to an early lead on UW-Milwaukee (12-7), a team that won the Horizon League and was in the NCAA Tournament a year ago. Senior All-American Erin Deffenbaugh got the first point of the night, and although the match was tied several times early, UWM could not take the lead. Leading by only one, 15-14, Lizzy Rhoads had a kill and Maggie Ledall followed with one shortly thereafter to give the Bears a 19-14 lead, which sparked them to the 1-0 lead.
The Panthers, who won their fourth match in a row, led early in game No. 2 before UNC tied it midway through the set. But an attack error by UWM followed by kills from Deffenbaugh and Danelle Angus sparked the Bears and they scored nine of the final 12 points in the set and looked on their way to the match victory.
Previously UNC had been 11-0 when leading 2-0.
But the intermission rejuventated the Panthers, who led for the majority of game three. UNC got within two points at 20-18 on an Angus kill but the Panthers scored nine of the next 14 points and led 29-23. UNC did manage the next four points themselves, before eventually falling 30-27.
The same story held true in game four, which forced the Bears to go to a fifth set for the third time in their last nine matches. And that fifth set was all Panthers as UWM opened an 8-1 lead, with the lone UNC point being a UW-Milwaukee attack error, on their way to the win.
Terin Ledall led the team with 16 kills and matched a career-high with 21 digs. Deffenbaugh added 14 kills and 20 digs, moving her career kill total to 2,343, only six away from No. 7 on the NCAA career list.
Angus added 13 kills and six blocks and Maggie Ledall, who hit .526 (13-3-19) on the night, also added 13 kills.
UW-Milwaukee was led by 26 kills and 17 digs from Karen Fruit.
UNC hit above .250 in each of the first two sets, but below .140 in each of the final three sets, including -.167 in the decisive game.
The Bears are quickly off onto the road again early next week, when they make a trip to Utah, to battle Weber State on Tuesday and Utah Valley State on Wednesday. Both matches can be heard live on 1010 KSIR and free online at UNCBears.com.
Match Notes: The match was the first-ever between the teams ... UNC fell to 7-6 on the road this season and 7-3 on Saturday's ... Deffenbaugh increased her career attack total to 5,965, which is only 127 away from the NCAA all-time record; she played in her 457th consecutive game, one away from ninth place in NCAA history ... Maggie Ledall finished the week hitting .539 (25-4-39) to increase her career hitting percentage to .334 (915-264-1950), which is now .006 above the UNC career hitting percentage mark; she needs only 85 kills to join the UNC 1,000 career kill club.