Women's Volleyball |
Nov. 25, 2007
STOCKTON, Calif.---The 2007 University of Cincinnati volleyball season came to a disappointing end late Saturday night as the Bearcats dropped a heartbreaking five-game contest to Pacific in the championship match of the Community Bankers Classic. The 30-32, 30-21, 29-31, 30-16, 16-18 setback ends UC's season with a 19-12 overall record.
Cincinnati squandered sizable leads in both the first and third games, before bouncing back to runaway with a game four win. UC couldn't convert on a match point in game five, ultimately losing in overtime by an 18-16 count. The defeat ends Cincinnati's run of consecutive 20-win seasons at 12.
Jenny Custer, playing in her final collegiate match, and freshman Stephanie Niemer led the Bearcats with 18 kills apiece. Custer's count moved her just shy of 1,000 career kills, as she finished with 997. Jessie Nevitt added 15 kills and six blocks, while Jessica Elley tacked on 13 kills.
The Bearcats couldn't stop Pacific (18-9) junior Kara Uhl who rang up a career-high 38 kills. Natalia Tomaszewska was the only other Tiger in double figure kills, finishing with 14.
In the opening frame, Cincinnati forced the Tigers into a timeout when Nevitt dropped a kill to hand the Bearcats a 19-13 lead. A kill by Custer kept UC up by a comfortable count at 25-18, but things would start to go sour from there for the visitors. Pacific scored the next nine points in a row, with Uhl and Masha Vaysburg scoring two apiece to take a 27-25 lead. Cincinnati finally scored consecutive points to tie the game, but back-to-back kills by Uhl put Pacific at game point. UC stayed alive and retied the game at 29 on kills by Nevitt and Elley. Uhl and Elley then traded kills to push the score to 30-all, before Pacific closed it out on an Alexa Anderson kill and an ace by Uhl.
The Bearcats were able to shake off the first game disappointment by hitting a match-high .324 in a 30-21 game two win. The score was tight early, but the Bearcats doubled up the Tigers at 12-6 on an error by Uhl. A kill by Uhl drew the hosts back within 19-16, but UC responded with five straight points to take an eight-point lead. Down the stretch, Elley carried the Bearcats home with three kills en route to a 30-21 win.
The third game was close throughout but ended up in Heartbreak City once again for the Bearcats. Cincinnati's lead reached its highest mark of the frame at 25-21, heading into a Pacific timeout. Out of the stoppage, Pacific scored six of the next seven, taking a 27-26 lead as the Bearcats exhausted both of their timeouts. The Tigers were the first to make it to game point at 29-28 on Uhl's 13th kill of game three, but Cincinnati tied it on a Custer kill. A service error put Pacific back within one of win and Uhl delivered yet another kill to seal it for the Tigers.
The bounce back trend continued for the Bearcats as they routed the Tigers by a 30-16 count in game four. UC's defense did the job, holding Pacific to -.022 hitting in the frame. A kill by Uhl brought the Tigers within 12-9, but the Bearcats proceeded to run off seven points in a row to take a 10-point lead. Errors continued to haunt Pacific in the late goings as they committed four in UC's last 11 points. A Lindsay Upton-Custer block of Uhl gave Cincinnati game point and Custer sent the match to game five with a kill.
The fifth game was a classic featuring 11 tie scores and three lead changes. Pacific led 8-6 at the changeover, but Cincinnati scored seven of the next 10 to take a 13-11 lead. Down two, Pacific called timeout and used a Bearcat error and a Vaysburg kill to tie the game. After calling timeout, Cincinnati got to match point on a Custer kill, but Uhl kept Pacific alive with kill number 38. From there, Cincinnati fought off two Pacific match points, tying the score at 16 on a kill by Nevitt. That would be UC's last point of the night as kills by Tomaszewska and Alexa Anderson gave the win to Pacific.
Cincinnati finished with 16 team blocks, marking the team's second-highest total of the year. Upton led the way with seven, while Nevitt added six, Custer and Elley five and Niemer and Annie Fesl four apiece. Four players recorded double-doubles, including the first of Niemer's career with a personal-best 11 digs. Jaime Frey led all players with 29 digs for UC.
Pacific libero Julie Magud led her team with 28 digs, while Anderson had five blocks. Uhl added 11 digs, three aces and three blocks to her 38 kills.
Community Bankers Classic All-Tournament Team
Kara Uhl (Pacific)-MVP
Julie Magud (Pacific)
Masha Vaysburg (Pacific)
Annie Fesl (Cincinnati)
Stephanie Niemer (Cincinnati)
Jessie Nevitt (Cincinnati)
Lauren Jaeckel (Saint Mary's)
With a final record of 19-12, Cincinnati failed to reach the 20-win plateau for the first time since going 19-13 in 1994.
Jessie Nevitt passed Bonita Wise for fourth place on UC's career block assists list with 432, one better than Wise's count.
Jaime Frey finished the year in fourth place on the UC single season digs list with 521.
Nevitt closed the year in eighth place on the single season block assists chart with 142.