Flames claw way to win against Panthers

Aubrey Sniegowski, volleyball

Aubrey Sniegowski led the Flames with 19 kills against Milwaukee. Photo: Steve Woltmann

The volleyball team played a hard-fought match Saturday, defeating Milwaukee, 3-2, at the Flames Athletic Center.

The Flames (11-10/4-2 Horizon League) outplayed the Panthers in kills, attack percentage, assists and digs.

“Milwaukee is a great program, and I am proud of the way our girls fought tonight,” head coach Katie Schumacher-Cawley said.

“It was a complete team effort, and a great turnaround in the fourth and fifth sets.”

Seniors Aubrey Sniegowski and Janise Dismuke paced the Flames offensively with 19 and 18 kills, respectively. Sniegowski hit at .400 and Dismuke posted her fourth straight .400-plus match, hitting at .467 on the night.

Senior Nicole Allgood and junior MaryKate Imrie captured double-doubles in the match. Allgood had 12 kills and 11 digs.

Imrie dished out 61 assists — leading all players — and 16 digs.

Sophomore Maggie Strus paced the Flames defensively, picking up 28 digs. Sophomore Sara Sternard hit at .423 with 12 kills on the night.

The Flames opened the first set with a 1-0 lead but fell behind until Dismuke and Sniegowski posted a block to overtake the Panthers, 23-22. The Panthers committed an attack error, then Allgood capitalized on the situation to close out the set, 25-23, and take a 1-0 lead in the match.

UIC dropped the second and third sets, 25-22 and 25-23, before rallying back.

The Flames came out in the fourth set and collected three straight points with kills by Dismuke, Sniegowski and Allgood. The teams exchanged points before UIC posted a three-point run to lead, 16-13, forcing Milwaukee to call a time-out.

The Panthers tied the set at 22, but UIC scored three of the next four points to close the set, 25-23, and tie the match at 2-2.

UIC and Milwaukee played a cat-and-mouse game through the deciding set until the Flames gained a 10-9 lead on the Panthers. From there, Milwaukee called a time-out, but the Flames rallied on with three straight points, including blocks by Dismuke and Sniegowski, a service ace by junior Justine Garcia and a kill by Sniegowski to push ahead, 13-9.

Sniegowski and Sternard closed the door on the match with back-to-back kills to outlast the Panthers, 15-11.

UIC returns to action against Loyola at 7 p.m. Friday at the Gentile Arena. The teams are battling for top position in the league.

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