Volleyball continues home stand after Oakland fall

Bridget Powell

Bridget Powell takes a shot. The Flames face Green Bay and Milwaukee at home this weekend. Photo: Steve Woltmann

The volleyball team couldn’t muster up enough home-court magic to knock off defending Horizon League champion Oakland Saturday. Oakland won the conference contest 3-0 (25-17, 26-24, 25-20).

The Flames continue the four-match homestand at the Flames Athletic Center Friday against Green Bay and Saturday against Milwaukee.

In last weekend’s Flames Horizon League opener, the Golden Grizzlies hit .326 as a team in the match with 44 kills on 86 attempts with only 16 errors. The Flames could not develop a consistent rhythm on the attack, hitting only .178 with 34 kills and 18 errors.

The early stages of the first set played out in back-and-forth fashion. The two teams were tied, 10-10, but Oakland scored the next five points to take a 15-10 lead. The Golden Grizzlies hit a match-best .435 in the first set as they grabbed a 25-17 victory.

UIC took the floor to open the second set with a renewed energy. The Flames held a 17-10 cushion after a kill from Kyisha Hunt, but Oakland slowly chipped away to knot the score at 20 points apiece. After a timeout, UIC fell behind, 21-20, but battled back and forth over several rallies.

The Golden Grizzlies earned the first chance at set point nursing a 24-23 lead, but a block by Alyssa Ehrhardt and Stephenee Yancy evened the home team again. Unfortunately, OU got back-to-back kills to secure a 26-24 win and a 2-0 lead for the match.

The Flames had another strong start coming out of the intermission — an early 8-4 lead thanks to a couple of kills from Hunt, a few blocks by Yancy, plus an ace from Nicole Johnson. The slim advantage diminished and OU used 6-2 surge when the set was tied at 15-15 to go ahead for good. Oakland claimed the frame, 25-20, and the match, 3-0.

UIC had eight kills from Yancy and Ehrhardt, while Casey Harris chipped in with six. Yancy added a team-high four blocks.