Saturday, November 21, 2009

Semifinal Showdown

The UWM volleyball team looks to keep its hopes alive for another Horizon League title and NCAA Tournament berth when it takes on Valparaiso this afternoon in Cleveland in the league tournament semifinals.

As I write, the hosts from Cleveland State have jumped all over UIC in the first semifinal, winning 25-11. UWM's match will follow, with the start time set for 3:30 pm EST/2:30 pm CST.

I will have another live blog for the match today, and you can follow stats via gametracker and live video through the Horizon League Network. But, first, some prematch notes ...

- Jena Berg's 21 kills and 24 digs yesterday made Berg the first Panther player to collect a 20-20 effort since Jamie Gabrielsen did it in the 2007 season. Berg's 21 kills marked a collegiate high.

- Lauren Felsing had 26 digs yesterday and now has 1,874 career digs. That is just one away from tying and two away from overtaking Becky Peters at the top of UWM's all-time list.

- The Panthers had five players reach double figures in kills yesterday and have now hit better than .200 in six-straight matches.

- Milwaukee had 105 digs, the fifth time this season the Panthers have tallied 100 or more digs. UWM also winds up with 308 digs in three matches against Green Bay this season.

- UWM is now 3-4 in five-set matches this season. It's actually three wins in a row in five-setters after the Panthers dropped their first four extended matches of the season.

- The Panthers have now reached the semifinals of the league tournament in all 14 of their tournament appearances.

- UWM and Valpo split during the regular season, with each team winning on its homecourt. UWM's win came just last weekend, while its loss came in five sets in the middle of its five-match losing skid.

- Milwaukee and Valpo have met once before in the league tournament, with Valpo winning in four sets at the Klotsche Center two years ago.

- UWM has now won nine-straight matches overall.