Volleyball goes into league play with momentum

Stephenee Yancy leaping to make a spike

Stephenee Yancy earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team after the PSU Alumni Classic. — Photo: Steve Woltmann

The volleyball team (6-9) won its final contest of the Penn State Alumni Classic Saturday afternoon with a 3-1 victory (25-21, 25-23, 21-25, 25-17) over Eastern Illinois (6-7).

The Flames finished the PSU Alumni Classic with a 2-1 record.

UIC begins the Horizon League portion of its schedule Friday, heading to Milwaukee for a 7 p.m. match. Milwaukee was pegged as the preseason favorite to win the Horizon League title. The Panthers won last year’s Horizon League Tournament but fell to Wisconsin in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

Junior Stephenee Yancy was named to the All-Tournament Team after 21 kills on 44 attempts. She also earned the Horizon League Offensive Player of the Week title.

Yancy put down 57 kills with a .381 attack percentage over the weekend.

Yancy extended her double-digit kill streak to 15 matches and averaged 18.4 kills with a .390 attack percentage in the last five matches. She picked up four blocks for the fourth time this season.

Redshirt freshman Nicole Johnson had 46 assists, six digs, three kills and two blocks in an all-around strong performance. Johnson has dished out 40 assists in 10 games this season.

Senior Maggie Strus collected 16 digs for her eighth consecutive double-digit performance. She has 1,478 career digs, which ranks second in program history. She needs 54 more to become UIC’s all-time dig leader.

Sophomore Kara Johnson had 14 kills for her 12th double-digit effort. She put down seven kills on 14 attempts in the second set victory and another four in the decisive fourth set.

Sara Jo Sternard, Molly McCoy and Kyisha Hunt all put down six kills for UIC. McCoy hit at a .385 clip while Sternard (five blocks) and Hunt (three blocks) were productive on defense.

Anouska Best, Allie O’Reilly and Tracy Friel each recorded two service aces. O’Reilly had 10 digs for her fifth double-digit effort while Friel added eight digs on UIC’s back line.

EIU tied the first set at 8-8 but UIC used a .333 attack percentage and three blocks to pull away for a 25-21 victory. The Panthers led, 8-7, in the second set before a 5-0 run with Nicole Johnson serving allowed the Flames to go ahead and win the set, 25-23.

UIC led the third set, 17-16, following McCoy’s fifth kill of the match but EIU scored seven of the next nine points to capture the set, 25-21. Best’s two service aces helped UIC grab an early 8-1 lead in the fourth set and the Flames never trailed in a 25-17 victory.


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