Dec. 3, 2009

Courtesy of Dayton

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The cardiac kids struck again, as the University of Dayton Flyers earned a five-set win over the UW-Milwaukee Panthers in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Volleyball Championships. Dayton is 8-2 when heading into the fifth game this season.

The Flyers faced a very resilient Milwaukee program that won its last 11 matches entering Friday after starting the season 5-14.

"I thought we played against one of the best backcourt defensive teams that we have seen all year. They were just digging balls," head coach Kelly Sheffield said. "With a lot of our attacks, we expect them to go down. Tonight we played against a team that did a really great job of keeping those balls off of the floor."

Dayton's Amanda Cowdrey struck gold with her 16th double-double of the season. The junior outside hitter from Brampton, Ontario led the team with 16 kills and 27 digs against the Panthers. Cowdrey also had three service aces in the match. Freshman libero Paige Vargas had 21 digs for UD,

The Flyers' blocking was in line with UW-Milwaukee's, holding a slight edge 10.0 to 9.5. All-American middle blocker and Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Year Lindsay Fletemier had five block assists and nine kills for UD.

Redshirt freshman Rachel Krabacher made her return after missing one match with a foot injury. Krabacher had 11 kills, 13 digs and four blocks (1 solo, 3 assist). Middle blocker Becky Novacek also had 11 kills and four block assists.

The Flyers traded points early in the first set, but went on a six point run when the score was knotted at seven and never looked back. UD out-hit Milwaukee .361 to .000 in the first frame. They also out-blocked the Panthers 4.0 to 2.5 taking the 1-0 edge in the match.

The second set got off to the same back and forth battle both teams had in the first set. However, the UW-Milwaukee Panthers pulled a slight edge and was able to maintain it despite Dayton clawing back within one point after trailing 23-18. UD dropped the second set 22-25.

UD came out blazing in the third set, opening up an 8-3 lead. Milwaukee battled back, however, tying the game at eight points apiece. After trading points, the Flyers gained momentum closing out the Panthers in the third set 25-20. UW-Milwaukee earned the fourth set 25-19.

The Flyers rolled in the fifth set closing out the Panthers 15-4 to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007.

"The fifth-set is very do-or-die. We have a lot of scenarios that we play in practice that are similar to game five. When you practice it makes it a lot easier to perform it when you're in that situation," Cowdrey said.

Dayton will face the winner of No. 5-seeded Illinois and IPFW currently in progress. Match time is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET. The Flyers are 30-3 and have advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament twice before in 2003 and 2007.