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Women’s volleyball team shines in first two home WIAC matches

October 3, 2014

Head Coach Patti Ford said a split over the weekend would keep her UW-River Falls Falcons in the hunt for the conference tournament.

The Falcons didn’t split, but instead won both of their home conference matches this past weekend.

On Friday, the Falcons faced off against UW-La Crosse. The Falcons dropped the first set to the Eagles, but followed by winning three straight sets.

Every set was close on Friday night. Both the Falcons and the Eagles soared to 20-plus points in each set. The biggest margin of victory in a set was a mere four points. The fourth and final set saw extra points, as it took 27 points for the Falcons to defeat the Eagles by two.

Three Falcons scored in double digits on Friday night. Briana Muetzel scored 16.5, Katie Duff scored 14 and Rebecca Gasper scored 10.5 in Friday’s victorious match.

On Saturday, the Falcons welcomed UW-Platteville to River Falls. Each set was close, but every set saw the Falcons fly a little higher than the Pioneers as UWRF won in three straight sets.

Similar to Friday night, both squads scored over 20 points in every set. Another similarity between the two matches was the prominence of Rebecca Gasper. Gasper scored 10.5 points in Saturday’s match.

Lisa Keppers was the only other Falcon to score in double-digits on Saturday; Keppers also contributed 10.5 points.

After the victories, only the Falcons and UW-Whitewater stand at a 2-0 conference record. Ford said conference games are important for the Falcons as they only get one shot at their competitors.

“The conference is as tough as always,” Ford said. “I would say from top to bottom there isn’t a weak match there. We have Steven’s Point, Whitewater and Oshkosh all ranked in the top 25 of the AVCA poll. Steven’s Point finished third in the nation last year, so we have some real good competition ahead of us and we have to play all of those school’s at their home gyms.”

Team captain Brianna Muetzel said the season so far is going well for the Falcons as they learn to play more as a team compared to just as individuals. The junior said her main expectation for the team’s season is to keep improving throughout the year.

“I think just to end at our best ability possible,” Muetzel said. “Just keep getting better every single day, work harder every single day.”

Both coach and captain used the same word to describe this year’s Falcon volleyball team: fun.

“Our team works really hard,” Muetzel said. “We are a fun team to watch. We get along really well. We are in it for each other and in it to get better and have fun.”

“I think they are just a really fun team to watch. They have a lot of energy when they are out on the court,” Ford said. “We are young, but we are really adaptable and fast out on the court. I think people would be very surprised if they came to some of our matches.”

The Falcons also defeated UWStout 3-2 late Wednesday night.