Pioneers’ erros doom comeback

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville volleyball team could not complete a comeback, dropping a five-set thriller Sept. 25 to visiting University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, putting them at 7-11 on the year and 0-2 in WIAC play.

It took the Pioneers two sets to hit their stride in the match, falling 25-13 and 25-20 in the opening sets.

UW-Platteville’s service line stepped up and got aggressive in serving and in play.

Their defensive line gave their setters great opportunities to keep the match alive, winning 25-20 in the third set.

“We have two main strong points that stick out the most.  Our serving was by far much better than it had been earlier in the season, and our passing tonight was exceptional as well,” sophomore outside hitter Jennifer Schmidt said.

The Pioneers seemed to be together as a team coming into the fourth.  Their execution and talent became apparent as the Pioneers came out with a 7-3 lead.

UW-Platteville did not let the lead slip and a 25-18 victory put them into a tie-breaking fifth set.

The fifth set saw the Pioneers keep the game close, however, UW-La Crosse shut the door on the comeback bid, taking the fifth set 15-12.

Senior Stephanie Kirchner and junior LeeAnn Mizgalski were able to lead the Pioneers with a total of 11 kills each, and Kirchner was two digs away from a double-double.

“We made too many errors in the first two games, and we let those errors become streaks for the other team,” freshman defensive specialist Lindsey Decker said.

The team’s inconsistency has become a source of frustration.

“It’s now almost half way through our season and I think its time we start coming and playing together as a team rather than having our offense be on one game and our defense on another,” Schmidt said.

UW-Platteville traveled to Wheaton, Ill. Friday and Saturday for the Wheaton Thunder Invitational where the Pioneers split four games.

Friday saw the Pioneers avenge an early loss this season, defeating Carroll (Wis.) in five-sets, and then the Pioneers were blanked 3-0 by the hosting Wheaton College.

UW-Platteville was inconsistent again Saturday taking down North Central (Ill.) in a three-set shut out win, but they were then shut out by Mt. St. Joseph.

Tuesday’s Yell Night match against St. Ambrose, part of Homecoming week, saw the Pioneers pull out a victory in five sets.

A full story of the Yell Night action will be in the Oct. 10 issue of Exponent.

The Pioneers play two WIAC road games this weekend, Friday’s tilt at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and then on Saturday at University of Wisconsin-Superior.