October 13, 2015.
UIC Women’s Volleyball’s Stephenee Yancy yelled “OUR HOUSE!” with the final kill she made to win the game against Western Illinois on Tuesday night. The Flames came out the gates hot with a 14-5 lead early, causing a quick time out by the Leathernecks. Despite their best efforts, WIU just couldn’t hold off the Flames the entire first set, where they often lead by 10 or more and won set one 25-15. At the end of one, Alyssa Ehrhardt and Stephenee Yancy lead the Flames in kills with 4 each, while Kara Johnson and Kyisha Hunt both contributed 3 kills.
UIC began the second set with the momentum on their side, but that didn’t stop the Leathernecks from attempting to start a fire of their own, where they lead for the first time in the game with a 4-3 advantage early. After the two teams continued to go back and forth for a few minutes, the Flames finally got their largest lead of the second set with another kill by Kyisha Hunt and a great serve by Kara Johnson, giving them a 10-6 advantage over WIU. After UIC’s spurt, Leathernecks’ head coach quickly took a timeout to regroup. The huddle worked out for Western as they came back to tie the game at 15-15 after trailing, causing UIC to call timeout. That just about did it as the Flames were able to pull away just enough to win set two, finishing with a 25-20 lead after Ehrhardt’s final kill to the corner leading into half-time.
To begin set three, the Leathernecks started off with an 8-4 lead. Although WIU held the lead for the majority of the first half of this set, the Flames just wouldn’t go away. It was another back and forth set with neither team gaining much of an advantage. UIC was able to fight through and tie the set back up at 14-14, causing another timeout by the Leathernecks. The Flames were able to gain a 20-17 advantage, putting the pressure on WIU as the set went down to the wire.
With a lead of 24-21 making the Flames one point away from a 3-0 sweep, it was fitting that senior middle blocker Stephenee Yancy, who finished with a game-high 16 kills at a clip of 50%, rose up for the final kill, slamming the volleyball to the ground between two defenders, sending the Leathernecks home with no remorse. UIC finished with a total of 44 kills and 42 assists (40 of the assists handed out by sophomore setter, Nicole Johnson.)
No doubt that it was a team effort all around, with four different players with 8 or more kills and six different players with 3 or more digs on the night (Bridget Powell leading the way with 14). The UIC Flames were on top of their game from start to finish as they swept the visiting Western Illinois Leathernecks 3-0 (25-15, 25-20, 25-21), which improved their record to 10-10. The next UIC Women’s Volleyball game will be on the road this weekend against Youngstown State Penguins on Friday, Oct. 16 at 6 p.m. CT before heading to Cleveland to battle the Cleveland State Vikings on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 3 p.m. CT.