By PATRICK SLACK
Upsala fought off a match point as it rallied from a two-set deficit to defeat visiting Swanville 22-25, 15-25, 25-17, 28-26, 15-9, Thursday.
After Swanville pulled out a close first set, the outcome of the next two was never in much doubt, as the Bulldogs took the second set and the Cardinals the third.
Then, the intensity of the match escalated drastically in the fourth, with Upsala working to stay alive while Swanville tried to complete a season sweep.
The Cardinals had three chances to finish things off in the fourth set with a 24-21 lead, but Swanville came back with four points in a row to go ahead 25-24 and give itself a match point.
The Cardinals stayed alive with the next point coming out of a timeout, then earned a fourth set point at 26-25.
Swanville tied things back up at 26-26, but Upsala finally forced a fifth set with the following two points, leading to the dramatic win.
Junior Danica Cheney smacked 28 kills to lead Upsala, with junior Kristin Wuebkers distributing 48 set assists.
Sophomore Kiley Smieja had 10 kills for the Cardinals, followed by junior Brooke Westrich (7), freshman Katlin Welinski (6) and junior Mariah Prokott (4).
Westrich also had a team-high 25 digs, with Prokott and junior Sara Herzog both finishing with 20.
Senior Nikki Primus and junior Danica Hanson each had 11 kills and senior Danielle Sutton contributed nine for the Bulldogs, set up primarily by sophomore Haileigh Sales, who ended with 20 assists.
Senior Ashley Maciej had 19 digs and junior Simone Grittner had 17 to lead the Bulldogs on defense.
All five of Upsala’s home matches this season have gone a full five sets.