Bearcats Bounce Hokies For Seventh Win|
Sept. 8, 2007
MILWAUKEE---Jessie Nevitt and Stephanie Niemer combined for 30 kills, helping Cincinnati wrap up second place at the Panther Invitational with a sweep of Virginia Tech on Saturday. UC grabbed its seventh win of the year on the strength of a 30-28, 30-19, 30-28 victory.
The Bearcats (7-3) had to fight until the end in games one and three, while hitting .484 in a runaway game two triumph. Nevitt continued her strong play that was on display throughout the tournament, finishing with a match-high 16 kills on .444 hitting, along with three blocks. Niemer had another good performance as well, tacking on 14 kills and hitting .393.
Cincinnati did it with defense too, holding the Hokies (6-4) to .158 hitting, marking the seventh UC opponent to hit below .200 this year. Felicia Willoughby led Virginia Tech with 11 kills. The Hokies defense was also strong, finishing with 14 team blocks, including six by Taylor Parrish.
A total of 18 tie scores and five lead changes highlighted an ultra competitive game one. The biggest lead for either team the entire game came when Virginia Tech held a three-point edge three different times. Trailing 19-16, the Bearcats stormed back with four straight points, but were in for seven more tie scores before the end of the frame. A Niemer kill and a Hokie error put UC up 27-25, but Virginia Tech countered with a kill and an ace to retie the score. After a Bearcat timeout, Jenny Custer tallied a kill and then combined with Lindsay Upton for a block, setting up game point. Parrish kept VTU alive with a kill, but Jessica Elley ended the Hokie hopes with a kill for the 30-28 UC win.
The second game was a totally different story as UC roared out to leads of 12-4 and 20-7, forcing a pair of Virginia Tech timeouts. The Bearcats needed a stoppage when Virginia Tech got back within 25-16, but kills by Nevitt, Niemer and Upton helped the Bearcats close out the 30-19 win. Nevitt was particularly strong during the frame, dropping six kills on .750 hitting.
Ten more ties and five more lead changes were in store for the Bearcats in game three as UC overcame a late deficit to wrap up the match. Cincinnati led early by a 7-3 count, but later watched the Hokies use a 7-0 run to get back to within 18-17. The Bearcats found themselves down by two at 24-22 and got more nervous when the Hokies went up 28-27 on an error by Elley. Needing just two points to send the match to game four, the Hokies crumbled, recording three straight errors, two on combined blocks by Elley and Nevitt to end the match with a 30-28 Bearcat win. Both teams struggled offensively in the finale, with UC holding a .094 to .000 hitting advantage.
The Bearcats will now prepare for their biggest challenge of the season, hosting No. 2 Stanford on Wednesday night. Game time in Fifth Third Arena is set for 7:30 p.m.