Volleyball faces tough competition in Denver

UIC finished the preseason tournament portion of its schedule Saturday by splitting two matches at the Denver Invitational at the University of Denver. The Flames lost the invitational opener Friday, falling 3-0 to Denver.

The Flames beat Abilene Christian, 3-1 (25-21, 25-19, 19-25, 26-24), in the first game Saturday, but they dropped a five-set match to the Montana Grizzlies to finish the day (25-9, 23-25, 16-25, 25-23, 15-11).

The Flames open Horizon League play on the road this week. UIC visits Wright State Friday before taking on league newcomer Northern Kentucky Saturday.

UIC withstood a late charge by Abilene Christian University to brush past the Wildcats in the first game Saturday.

Senior Stephenee Yancy turned in another dominant performance for the Flames. The middle blocker pounded down a season-high 26 kills in the four-set victory. It was one shy of her career-best effort and the second-best output for any Horizon League player in a four-set match this season. Yancy stood out on the defensive side with a team-high six blocks.

UIC junior Kara Johnson also added 12 kills against the Wildcats, while sophomore Kyisha Hunt added nine and four blocks. Libero Bridget Powell (20) and defensive specialist Tracy Friel (16) posted season highs in digs, while setter Nicole Johnson matched her best effort with 14 digs. The sophomore handed out 55 assists in the victory to notch her fourth double-double of the season.

In the loss versus Montana, Alyssa Ehrhardt with 13 kills and Johnson added 11 to go along with nine digs. Yancy had 12 kills, while Hunt chipped in with nine to go with her team-high six blocks.

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