CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (blugolds.com) - The No. 13 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire volleyball team won both matches Saturday in the Mabel Lee Tournament, beating Saint Mary's (Minn.) and Coe College (Iowa). The Blugolds were able to top Saint Mary's 3-0, before pulling out a close victory over Coe College 3-2.
The Blugolds began play with a 26-24 victory in the first set against Saint Mary's. They had an even stronger second set, winning it 25-13 before taking the final set 25-12. Arianna Barrett (So.-Lakeville, MN/North) led all players with 19 kills in total. Abby Pederson (So.-Canby, MN) and Kendra Baierl (Jr.-Marshfield, WI/Columbus Catholic) were also important contributors, with four kills each.
The next match of the night came against Coe College, with the Blugolds able to pull out a close win. Eau Claire jumped out to a big lead early in the first set, going up 14-4 at one point. They locked it down with a 25-14 victory.
Coe College came roaring back, winning the next two sets 25-14 and 25-19 before the Blugolds were able to close things out over the next two sets. Once again, Barrett led the team in kills, recording 16 of them while adding one assist on top. Abby Volk (So.-Willmar, MN) had nine kills herself, while Baierl added eight and hit .261.
The two wins pushed the Blugolds to 8-6 overall, with a 0-1 record in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. They will return to their home court on Wednesday, with a conference opponent in UW-River Falls at 7 PM in the McPhee Center. It will be the final action before a difficult October slate that includes a number of conference foes and two road tournaments, the Elmhurst College Tournament & Illinois Wesleyan Holiday Inn Classic.