Women's Volleyball joins WIAC tournament seeded #6
November 12, 2023
UWRF Women's Volleyball is heading to the WIAC tournament for the second straight year. This is the Falcon's fourth WIAC tournament appearance in the last decade. Head Coach Dipen Patel, who was hired in 2022, holds two of these tournament births.
Last season, the Falcons snuck into the WIAC tournament with a 2-5 conference record. As the #6 seed, they would lose in four sets at UW-Stevens Point.
This year, the Falcons finished the regular season 19-9 overall and 3-4 in the conference. Three of the Falcon's final four games were against conference opponents, and they saw mixed success to close out the regular season.
On Oct. 20, UWRF faced the undefeated UW-Oshkosh Titans. The Falcons would drop the first two sets, 22-25 and 18-25, but crawl back in the third. In a heated third set, the Falcons held on for a 26-24 win. In the fourth set, the Falcons dominated the Titans, winning 25-11. This was the largest margin of defeat Oshkosh had all season in a single set. In overtime, the Falcons failed to grab the lead once and lost 8-15.
Though a heartbreaking loss, UWRF became only the fourth team to win two sets against the Titans this season. UW-Oshkosh went on to finish the regular season with a 33-0 overall record.
At home against UW-Eau Claire on Oct. 25, the Falcons faced the Blugolds. Both squads came in with 2-3 conference records and looked to leapfrog the other in the WIAC standings. The Blugolds became national champions in 2021, but have been regressing in overall record the last two seasons.
The Falcons went up 2-1, but Eau Claire forced overtime with a narrow 25-22 win in the fourth set. UWRF dominated early in the fifth set and went up 5-0 on UWEC. River Falls never lost the lead and won the final set 15-10. The win got the Falcons back to 3-3 in the conference and dropped the Blugolds to 2-4. This was UWRF's first win against UWEC since 2004.
To close out the regular season, UWRF faced the Warhawks of UW-Whitewater. The Falcons, who have been much better at home this season, failed to capture a single set at Whitewater, losing 0-3. The Falcons have not defeated the Warhawks since 2009.
UWRF has drawn the Pioneers in the first round of the WIAC tournament and will travel to UW-Platteville. Earlier this season, the Falcons fell to the Pioneers 0-3. UWRF will look to rebound against Platteville on Nov. 7, hoping to capture Coach Patel's first playoff win as their head coach.