Volleyball wins Horizon League opening weekend

Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson notched 58 assists for the Flames Saturday. — Photo: Steve Woltmann

UIC completed its opening weekend of Horizon League play in exciting fashion Saturday afternoon by knocking off the newest Horizon League member, Northern Kentucky, on the road, 3-1 (21-25, 25-18, 25-23, 26-24).

The win over the Norse, coupled with Friday’s victory at Wright State, means the Flames (8-7, 2-0 Horizon League) are 2-0 to begin conference play for the first time since 2012.

“With Northern Kentucky being new to the Horizon League, we were not entirely sure what to expect today,” UIC head coach Katie Schumacher-Cawley said. “They are an extremely talented team and they made us fight hard for every point. I’m happy that we were able to persevere and finish the weekend on another positive note.”

The Flames host Oakland at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Flames Athletic Center.

Senior Stephenee Yancy was unstoppable Saturday with 26 kills at a clip of .629. She added three digs and three blocks as she scored 29.5 points in UIC’s victory.

Junior Alyssa Ehrhardt joined Yancy in double figures with 15 kills, while freshman Morgan Mereday added eight.

Setter Nicole Johnson matched her season high with 58 assists.

Casey Harris led UIC in blocks with seven. Libero Bridget Powell paced UIC with 19 digs, while Tracy Friel added 17.

UIC started Horizon League play on the right note Friday with a 3-1 (25-20, 25-16, 28-30, 25-22) win away at Wright State.

UIC won the opening set 25-20 before taking a 2-0 lead for the match with a dominant 25-16 win in the second. The Flames dropped a tight third game, 30-28, and secured the victory set four (25-22) to pick up the win.

“Wright State has had a great season so far and we knew we were going to be tested by them all night long,” Schumacher-Cawley said.  “We were able to rise to the challenge and fight to get back on track.”

Yancy buried a match-high 20 kills for the Flames at a clip of .385. Ehrhardt had 15 kills and Kara Johnson added 11.

Ehhardt and Powell each recorded a match-high 17 kills.

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