Nov. 21, 2003
INDIANAPOLIS - Cleveland State swept No. 7 Illinois-Chicago 30-26, 30-22, 31-29 on Friday morning in first round action of the Horizon League Championship at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The sixth-seeded Vikings (18-15), who even hadn't won so much as a game in the tournament since 1998, earned just their second victory in nine tries in league postseason play. With the win, CSU advances to the second round where the Vikings will face third-seeded UW-Green Bay later this evening at 5:00 p.m.
"While we didn't have a tremendous number of blocks, I thought our blocking set-up was key because it forced UIC to make a lot of errors," CSU head coach Chuck Voss said. "This win is a step in the right direction for the program, but we'll have to play better this afternoon to beat Green Bay."
Sophomore outside hitter Jenna Maddocks (Norwalk, Ohio/Norwalk) led all players with 11 kills. Freshman middle hitter Danielle Siefker (Kalida, Ohio/Kalida) tallied eight kills and five blocks, while junior middle hitter Jamie Bouyer (Bedford Heights, Ohio/Chanel) added eight kills and four blocks. Sophomores Emily Clark (Bolivar, Ohio/Tuscarawas Valley) and Katie Calhoon (Mansfield, Ohio/Madison) paced the Vikings with 13 and 12 digs, respectively.
Teaha Shepperd headed up UIC's (11-21) effort with 10 kills and 12 digs.
In the opening game, the Flames jumped out to a 14-9 lead, prompting Voss to use a time out. The Vikings responded by scoring seven of the game's next nine points to knot the score at 16-16. CSU then started to pull away, helped by numerous UIC attack errors and missed serves. Trailing 25-21, the Flames called time out, but the Vikings continued to side-out on their way to prevailing 30-26.
The second game was a see-saw affair early on as neither team could gain an advantage until CSU ran off three straight points to open a 14-11 margin. The Vikings widened the lead to 18-13, forcing UIC to burn a time out. CSU didn't let the break in the action curb its momentum, running off six of the next seven points to take a commanding 24-14 lead. The Vikings once again worked their side-out game to close out the frame 30-22.
Game three followed much the same pattern as the first two, as the teams traded points. With CSU leading 16-14, the Flames went on a 4-0 run, forcing Voss to ask for a time out. The Vikings responded by scoring three consecutive points to regain the lead 19-18. After trading side outs, CSU edged ahead 23-22, prompting a UIC time out. The Flames responded by scoring four of the next five points to take a 26-24 lead, forcing Voss to use his final time out. The Vikings came out of the break and claimed the next three points, pushing UIC to exhaust its time outs. Once again, the Flames refused to go quietly as a 3-0 burst gave them game point 29-28. However, CSU managed to escape a fourth game thanks to a Maddocks kill and back-to-back blocks.
CSU out-hit UIC .205 to .098 and out-blocked the Flames 10 to four.