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Yellowjackets report: Soccer teams swat Crown in UMAC semifinals

Both UWS soccer teams will host league championship matches on Saturday.

UW-Superior’s Brandon Conklin (8) jumps over Crown’s Enzo Pittgliani (4) as he heads the ball
UW-Superior’s Brandon Conklin (8) jumps over Crown’s Enzo Pittgliani (4) as he heads the ball in the first half of the Yellowjackets UMAC playoff game at the NBC Spartan Sports Complex on Wednesday afternoon.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
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SUPERIOR — Wisconsin-Superior put four goals on the board in the first half and cruised past Crown in a Upper Midwest Athletic Conference tournament semifinal at NBC Spartan Sports Complex.

Phillip Eriksen scored early in both halves of the 6-1 rout, putting the Yellowjackets in the lead after less than two minutes when he put a head to a Blake Perry cross. Eriksen then assisted Perry for the 2-0 goal in the 11th minute. Jake Kidd and Isaac Becket added to the total as the Yellowjackets dominated possession, generating 14 shots, 11 on target, to none for the visiting Polars.

Eriksen added another goal in the 48th minute and though Crown scored from its only shot on target for the match, from Juan Fernando Arriaga in the 55th minute, Harry Ambler closed the scoring with a 67th-minute penalty for the Yellowjackets.

UWS (15-3-2) will host No. 2 seed Bethany Lutheran for the tournament championship and an NCAA tournament berth on Saturday at a time to be determined.

UW-Superior’s Phillip Eriksen (23) celebrates his first half goal with teammates Josh Bellamy (3) and Mackie Ringrose (10)
UW-Superior’s Phillip Eriksen (23) celebrates his first half goal with teammates Josh Bellamy (3) and Mackie Ringrose (10) in the Yellowjackets' UMAC playoff game with Crown at the NBC Spartan Sports Complex on Wednesday afternoon.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

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WOMEN'S SOCCER

Yellowjackets pound Polars

Wisconsin-Superior turned offensive opportunities into a flood of goals in the second half, as they rolled 6-0 over Crown in a UMAC tournament women's soccer match at NBC Spartan Sports Complex.

Allison Alessi put the hosts up 1-0 in the ninth minute of play put the Polars kept the Yellowjackets at bay for the rest of the period and forced UWS goalkeeper Jenna Lang into three saves.

However, after the break, UWS hit the afterburners, scoring just 55 seconds into the half on Niya Wilson's 10th of the season. Mya Holmquist had a pair of goals , while Ava Giswold and Abby Randall also scored.

Holmquist finished with two goals and two assists, while Wilson had a goal and three assists.

Lang ended up with four saves.

The Yellowjackets (14-3-4) will host Northwestern on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. for the UMAC tournament title.

UW-Superior’s Kaylin Plautz (24) splits the Minnesota Morris block of Lydia Nash (8) and Maggie Jones (17)
UW-Superior’s Kaylin Plautz (24) splits the Minnesota Morris block of Lydia Nash (8) and Maggie Jones (17) in the first set of the UMAC playoff match at UWS on Wednesday.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

VOLLEYBALL

UWS survives thrilling five-setter

Wisconsin-Superior had Minnesota Morris on the ropes several times but ended up winning the narrowest possible decision in a UMAC tournament semifinal on Wednesday at Mertz Mortorelli Gym, 3-2 (19-25, 25-15, 25-22, 23-25, 16-14).

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After winning sets two and three, the Yellowjackets appeared close to having the match in hand after a run of six gave them a 14-8 edge that grew as large as 19-11. The Cougars won nine of the next 11 points to draw within one and then, after another sideout, took over the lead, 24-22 and won the set on their second attempt.

UWS then won the first seven points of the decisive fifth set. Morris clawed back by winning the next four, but the Yellowjackets were close to victory with a 12-7 lead. Again, they couldn't string points together, and Anna Molstad's kill tied the decisive set at 14. This time, the hosts put the match away, as a Morris attack error set up match point and Cassy Teff put it away.

Alexie Pryd led all players with 17 kills for UWS, while Teff added 16 and Kaylin Plautz 14. Molstad finished with 16 and Laura Wellbrock 14 for the Cougars.

Teff also led UWS in assists (25) and blocks (four) and had 13 digs as well.

Jenna Anderson was the defensive leader for UWS with 26 digs, while Pryd added 21.

UWS (16-12) will travel to No. 5 Northwestern for the UMAC tournament championship match in St. Paul on Saturday.

UW-Superior’s Alexie Pryd (21) celebrates a kill with her teammates
UW-Superior’s Alexie Pryd (21) celebrates a kill with her teammates during the first game of the Yellowjackets' UMAC playoff match with Minnesota Morris at UWS on Wednesday.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

BASKETBALL

UWS picked to finish mid-pack

Opposing coaches in the UMAC are predicting Wisconsin-Superior for mid-pack finishes in both men's and women's basketball in 2022-23, according to a poll released on Wednesday.

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The UWS men were picked to finish fifth of eight teams and the women sixth.

Greg Polkowski leads the Yellowjackets for a sixth season after going 6-8 in league play and 10-16 overall. His team returns 10 letterwinners from that quad including J'Vaun Walker (11.4 points per game).

The Yellowjackets' regular season begins with a Tuesday home game vs. St. Scholastica. UMAC play begins Dec. 9 at Bethany Lutheran.

Emily Carpenter will be the interim head coach for the UWS women this year. They went 5-9 in UMAC play in 2021-22 with senior guard Kaelyn Christian (12.0 ppg) their leading returner.

UWS opens its season at Finlandia on Tuesday night and also begins UMAC action on Dec. 9 at Bethany Lutheran.

Crown’s Jose Lovera (93) grabs a hold of UW-Superior’s Blake Perry (19) as they fight for position
Crown’s Jose Lovera (93) grabs a hold of UW-Superior’s Blake Perry (19) as they fight for position in the first half of the Yellowjackets' UMAC playoff game at the NBC Spartan Sports Complex on Wednesday afternoon.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
UW-Superior’s Isaac Becket (33) heads the ball towards the goal
UW-Superior’s Isaac Becket (33) heads the ball towards the goal in the first half of the Yellowjackets' UMAC playoff game with Crown at the NBC Spartan Sports Complex on Wednesday afternoon.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
UW-Superior’s Noah Benson (21) battles with Crown’s Omar Navarro (11) for position
UW-Superior’s Noah Benson (21) battles with Crown’s Omar Navarro (11) for position in the first half of the Yellowjackets UMAC playoff game at the NBC Spartan Sports Complex on Wednesday afternoon.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
UW-Superior’s Blake Perry (19) blasts home a first half goal in front of Crown’s Luca Kaltenbach (9)
UW-Superior’s Blake Perry (19) blasts home a first half goal in front of Crown’s Luca Kaltenbach (9) during the Yellowjackets' UMAC playoff game at the NBC Spartan Sports Complex on Wednesday afternoon.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
UW-Superior’s Ella Kapus (18) chases down the ball
UW-Superior’s Ella Kapus (18) chases down the ball as her teammate, Colleen Claude (14), backs up the play during the first set of the Yellowjackets' UMAC playoff match with Minnesota Morris at UWS on Wednesday.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
UW-Superior’s Cassy Teff (13) sets the ball for Ella Kapus (18)
UW-Superior’s Cassy Teff (13) sets the ball for Ella Kapus (18) during the first game of the Yellowjackets UMAC playoff match with Minnesota Morris at UWS on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
UW-Superior’s Alexie Pryd (21) hits past Minnesota Morris’ McKenzie Newton (12)
UW-Superior’s Alexie Pryd (21) hits past Minnesota Morris’ McKenzie Newton (12) in the first set of the Yellowjackets' UMAC playoff match at UWS on Wednesday.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
UW-Superior’s Maiana Stark (15) blocks a Minnesota Morris shot
UW-Superior’s Maiana Stark (15) blocks a Minnesota Morris shot in the first set of the Yellowjackets' UMAC playoff match at UWS on Wednesday.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
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