November 11, 2005

IPFW Snaps Volleyball's 35-Match Home Court Winning Streak

Nov. 11, 2005

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Championship/Consolation Bracket
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GREELEY, Colo. - The University of Northern Colorado women's volleyball team lost for the first time at home since the end of the 2001 season, as IPFW topped the Bears 3-1 on day two of the 2005 Division I Independent Championships, snapping the Bears 35-match home-court winning streak.

The loss was the first at the Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion for Northern Colorado (14-12) since Nov. 2, 2001 when North Dakota State topped the Bears 3-1. The winning streak had been the second longest in Division I, trailing only Ohio University.

IPFW (23-5), who finished pool play 3-0, came out strong despite having to play Texas A&M-Corpus Christi earlier in the day. IPFW broke a 9-9 tie in game one and never looked back in winning 30-23. In that set, the Bears struggled, committing 10 errors.

Northern Colorado led 5-1 to open the second set before the Mastodons raced back to tie the set at 9-9. IPFW continued to attack and pulled ahead by as many as seven points on their way to the 2-0 lead.

With their backs to the wall, Northern Colorado responded in game three despite suffering a medical setback. With UNC leading 17-15 in the third set, senior setter Corrinne Chapin went down with an injury and did not return.

In her place, freshman Lauren Carter helped ignite the Bears offensive attack and the home crowd willed the Bears to a 30-20 set win. In that game, the Bears hit a match-high .442 (22-3-43).

The fourth set was nip-and-tuck with the Bears and Mastodons fighting for every point. IPFW started to pull away late but thanks to a kill by Lenay Goble and an IPFW attack error, the Bears pulled to within one point at 27-26. But a service error followed by a ball-handling error would squash the rally as IPFW pulled the upset.

"We're obviously disappointed," head coach Lyndsey Benson said. "But I am pleased with our effort tonight. That is a very good team we played and we fought hard. We just did not come up with the big plays when we needed them. But in 12 hours we have a chance to redeem ourselves."

Carter had a career-high 23 assists, the same total Chapin had when she left the contest. Chapin was also fantastic defensively, registering 12 digs, nine in the first set.

Senior Amanda Wiggins led the team with 16 kills while Lizzy Rhoads added 13 and Goble notched 10. Wiggins shared the team lead for digs, 19, with Abby Mayne.

Fabiana Souza was dominant once again, tallying 26 kills in 65 attempts while also adding 14 digs and three blocks. Libero Peachy Jankowski had 28 digs while Nicole Howell added 20.

Northern Colorado, who finished second in Pool A, will meet the hottest independent team on Saturday morning as the championship round play begins. The Bears square off with Utah Valley State (16-11) who won Pool B with a perfect 3-0 mark. That match is at 10:30 a.m. in the UNC Recreation Center. Should the Bears win that match, they would face either IPFW or South Dakota State in the Championship Match on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. in Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion.