Eau Claire (WQOW) — UW-Eau Claire volleyball is 18-2 overall this season, and currently ranked 15th in the latest division three polls. The Blugolds went on a 12-match winning streak that finally ended last week, and are tied with UW-Whitewater at top of the WIAC standings 3-0.
The offense is hitting it’s stride at the right time, ranking first in every major category in the conference: hitting percentage, assists, and kills. The Blugolds have six players with over 100 kills individually on the season, led by senior middle-hitter Madelyn Pashibin, who’s second in the WIAC with 284. UW-Eau Claire’s offense can hurt you in many different ways and areas on the court.
“Every single hitter that we have can get the job done, and is a threat to the other team,” says Pashibin. “So they can’t come into the match saying, oh we just need to defend this player and we’ll be okay. Every single hitter that we’re bringing into the game is going to put it away.”
Head coach Kim Wudi agrees, and is excited for the depth she has at all positions.
“We’ve had all different kinds of people step up throughout the season so far,” Wudi, who’s in her 12th season with the Blugolds, says. “We’re really able to get a lot of people involved, and it’s hard to defend when you have three or two hitters and the setter to defend as well.”
The senior Pashibin also earned the WIAC offensive player of the week for the second consecutive week, and surpassed 1,000 career kills as well. She collected 57 kills, six blocks, and five digs over three matches, and leads the conference with a .359 hitting percentage.
“She’s so aggressive and hits the ball,” says Wudi. “But at the same time I think what’s really helped her this year is two things, one she’s really developed a lot of shots, she tips, she sees the block well, but more than anything she’s just a great teammate.”
“It’s because we have such great defensive players,” Pashibin added. “Such great passers, and Maddy (Surprise) is such a strong setter that it makes me look good. So, I really appreciate having them as teammates.”
The Blugolds have a big week in WIAC play. Hosting UW-La Crosse Wednesday night, and UW-Stevens Point on Saturday afternoon.