Nov. 11, 2005
CHICAGO - Cleveland State secured the second seed in the upcoming Horizon League Championship in dramatic fashion, rallying from a two-game deficit to pull out a 28-30, 28-30, 30-22, 30-20, 19-17 victory at UIC on Friday night. Jenna Maddocks propelled the Vikings in their longest match of the season (2:20), recording a career-high 21 kills and 12 digs for her team-leading ninth double-double of the season.
With the win, CSU improves to 18-9 overall and 10-3 in the Horizon League, while the Flames fall to 11-18 overall and 7-6 in the league. The victory locks up the No. 2 seed -- and the accompanying bye into the semifinals -- for the Vikings in the Horizon League Championship which runs from Nov. 17-20 at UIC. It also marks the first time during head coach Chuck Voss' six-year tenure that CSU has recovered from a 2-0 deficit to win a match.
"We still felt confident after the first two games because we hadn't played all that well and we were still in a position to win both games," Voss pointed out. "We put an emphasis on blocking and came out after the break with much better energy."
CSU fell behind 5-3 early on in game five, but claimed six of the next seven points to force a UIC timeout at 9-6. The Flames responded by knotting the score at 10-10 with a burst of their own. The Vikings had the first crack at winning the match, at 14-13, but a hitting error derailed that opportunity. UIC made the most of the second chance by twice serving for the match, but a Clark kill (at 15-14) and a service error (at 17-16) prevented the Flames from pulling out the win. After at Flames ball-handling error, Maddocks ended the match by slamming down her 21st kill of the night.
"Jenna played great for us tonight," Voss said. "Her last swing may have been her best of the night. It was a great team victory. I thought we served pretty tough tonight and that took UIC out of system."
Nickole Kennedy (17 kills), Emily Clark (15) and Danielle Siefker (11) joined Maddocks with double-digit kills, while Clark added 11 digs for her seventh double-double on the year. Alisa Hatcher tied for match honors with 17 digs, while Katie Calhoon added 15 digs.
Katarina Nedeljkovic paced the Flames with 18 kills, while Maura McCarthy added 12 kills and 17 digs.
The Vikings used a 13-kill advantage (72-59) to out-hit UIC, .169 to .134. The Flames became just the fifth team all year to out-block the Vikings, leading 14 to 11.
Cleveland State closes out the regular season at Loyola (10-16, 8-5 HL) on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. CST.