Volleyball nets third straight victory

Nicole Johnson sets the ball for teammate Sara Jo Sternard

Redshirt freshman Nicole Johnson dished out 59 assists Friday in UIC’s victory versus Valparaiso. Photo: Timothy Nguyen/UIC News

 

The volleyball team (10-12, 4-3 Horizon League) concluded the first half of Horizon League play Friday with a 3-1 victory at Valparaiso. The Flames have won three straight Horizon League contests and sit in fourth place in the conference standings.

UIC returns home this week to start the second half of conference play. The Flames host Green Bay (3-14, 1-5 Horizon League) Friday and first-place Milwaukee (11-9, 5-1 Horizon League) Saturday.

UIC overcame 18 Valparaiso blocks with 70 kills and a .224 attack percentage while holding the Crusaders to 54 kills and a .182 attack percentage.

Junior Stephenee Yancy, the Horizon League’s reigning Co-Offensive Player of the Week, put down a match-high 25 kills on 45 attempts for a strong .422 attack percentage. She had seven kills on 12 attempts in the third set and eight on nine swings in the decisive fourth set.

Redshirt freshman Nicole Johnson dished out 59 assists for her eighth 50-plus assist effort. She had seven digs and two kills on five attempts.

Yancy’s 25 kills and Johnson’s 59 assists are the most by any Horizon League player during conference play. Johnson (995 assists) and Yancy (363 kills) sit first and sixth, respectively, in the nation’s statistical rankings.

Sophomore Kara Johnson had 17 kills and 12 digs to collect her team-high 11th double-double. She had six kills on 16 attempts in the first set and five on 11 swings in the third set.

Freshman Allie O’Reilly had a match-high 16 digs and the Flames’ lone service ace of the night.

UIC put down 21 kills in a 27-25 first set victory, which featured eight lead changes. Valpo tied the score at 25 before an attack error and Kara Johnson’s sixth kill of the set put UIC up, 1-0.

UIC led, 23-20, in the second match on senior Sara Jo Sternard’s fourth kill of the set before Valpo scored the final five points to tie the match, 1-1.

The third set was tied at 29 before kills from Nicole Johnson and Kara Johnson gave UIC the 2-1 lead.

UIC pulled away from an 18-18 tie in the final set by holding Valpo to only 12 kills and a .121 attack percentage in a 25-23 win. Kara Johnson ended the match with her 17th kill of the night.

 

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