Nov. 14, 2010

Courtesy of UW-Platteville Athletics

UW-Platteville won two matches in the same NCAA III tournament for the first time ever, beating host and seventh-ranked Carthage 25-17, 25-17, 25-16 Saturday in the Midwest Regional semifinal in Kenosha.

The Pioneers, winner of 21 matches in a row, will take a 33-3 record into Sunday's 4 p.m. regional championship against defending national champion and third-ranked Washington University of St. Louis.

Wash U. is the only team to have a winning record against the Pioneers in 2010. The Bears topped the Pioneers 3-1 on Sept. 4 in St. Louis. UW-Platteville also lost five-set matches to UW-Oshkosh and UW-Eau Claire in the regular season, then avenged both of those in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament. Should the Pioneers complete the cycle and avenge the Wash U. loss, they will advance to the Elite Eight next weekend in St. Louis.

Melanie Bailiff had 12 kills, and Briana Kaiser made 9 kills and 5 blocks Saturday, as the Pioneers swept the Lady Red. UW-Platteville held the region's second seed to a 0.059 hitting percentage. Leslie White made 18 digs, and Stephanie Kirchner 16 for the 14th-ranked Pioneers.

In the first semifinal Saturday, Wash. U. knocked out Iowa champion Wartburg 25-23, 22-25, 25-19, 25-14.