Pointers volleyball defeats Warhawks to win WIAC Championship - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Pointers volleyball defeats Warhawks to win WIAC Championship, advance to NCAA Tournament


The No. 19 UW-Stevens Point volleyball team fought back from losing the first set to book their place in the NCAA Tournament with a four-set win over UW-Whitewater in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Tournament championship match on Saturday afternoon at Berg Gym.

The Pointers (31-4. 7-1 WIAC) lost last season's tournament championship match to the Warhawks (27-11, 5-3 WIAC) but made sure history did not repeat itself. Freshman Krista Loos led UWSP with a match-high 18 kills, while Emma Brunkhorst (13) and Allison Davis  (10) were also in double figures.

UW-Stevens Point raced out to a 6-2 lead in the first set but UW-Whitewater later won five straight points to take a 17-13 lead. The Pointers got within 24-23 at the tail end of the set but Kristen Ruchtl's kill closed out the set for the Warhawks by a 25-23 margin.

UWSP trailed 14-10 in the second but won four consecutive points to level the score. Kills by Hannah Picel, Gabby Thomas and Davis later gave UW-Stevens Point a 21-18 lead and they went on to even the match at a set apiece.

The Pointers led by as many as six in the third set at 11-5 but it was the Warhawks who closed to within 12-11 after winning five points in a row. UWSP eventually faced a 21-20 deficit but another run of four points gave them a 24-21 lead that they would convert into a two sets to one lead. Each of the first three sets were decided by 25-23 margins.

The fourth and final set was the most straightforward as the Pointers took it 25-17. UWSP hit .256 in the final set and committed just three errors in the process.

WIAC Player of the Year Alexis Hartman had 45 assists for UW-Stevens Point. Picel tallied 20 digs and Sarah Wildish added 14.

The Pointers will now wait to see where and who they will face in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
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