ST. PAUL, Minn. (Blugolds.com) – For the third year in a row, the UW-Eau Claire women's volleyball team fell to the University of St. Thomas (Minn.) to end their season at regionals of the NCAA Championship. Tonight, the Blugolds lost to the eighth-ranked Tommies 3-0 at Schoenecker Arena.
The first set was close and the Blugolds led at various times throughout but St. Thomas hung on to win 25-22. The two teams worked their way to a 20-20 tie but the Tommies then scored three straight and Eau Claire never recovered.
In the second set, the Tommies trailed early. After a 7-7 tie, St. Thomas went on a 9-1 run to get up 16-8 and the deficit was too much for the Blugolds to overcome as they fell 25-16.
The final set was another close one but St. Thomas came out on top 25-21. The teams battled back and forth then entire way and the Blugolds were down by just one (21-20) late in the set. But the Tommies outscored the Blugolds 4-1 the rest of the way for the win.
The Blugolds finish the season with a mark of 26-12, winning six out of their final seven matches. This was the eighth consecutive year Eau Claire competed in the NCAA Championship. Bomgren, Neave and Satterlee all end their careers with the Blugolds.
St. Thomas improves to 36-1 overall and will face the College of St. Benedict (Minn.) on Saturday in the third round. The winner will advance to nationals, which will be contested next weekend in Holland, Mich.
Photos by Greg Smith - www.gsmithsports.com