No. 1 Washington University Volleyball Closes Regular Season with Win Over St. Ambrose University
St. Louis, Mo., October 27, 2012 – The No. 1-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team earned a 3-1 (25-17, 21-25, 25-16, 25-17) win over St. Ambrose University Saturday at the Halloween Invitational to finish out its regular-season schedule.
Junior right-side hitter Tessa Blood, senior outside hitter Drew Hargrave and senior libero Kelly Pang were named to the All-Tournament Team. They were joined by Kelsey Fuller and Amelia Kepler of Juniata College, and Tori Matzen of St. Ambrose.
The Bears jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the opening set behind a pair of kills by Hargrave, along with two blocks by junior middle hitter Emily Tulloch with help from Hargrave and Blood. Washington U. stretched the lead to as many as 10 points (20-10) after an ace by Pang and an attacking error by St. Ambrose. The Queen Bees were unable to cut the lead closer than seven the remainder of the set and a kill by freshman middle hitter Jackie Nelligan gave the Bears the 25-17 win. St. Ambrose hit just -.100 in the set with six kills and nine errors, including three blocks by the Bears.
St. Ambrose capitalized on several Washington U. errors to open up a 15-9 lead in the second set. The Bears rallied with a pair of serving runs by senior setter Marilee Fisher and Pang to take an 18-17 lead. The teams then traded points until the Queen Bees scored five-straight points to take a 24-20 lead. A block by Fisher and Nelligan ended a long rally to make it 24-21, but a service error by the Bears gave St. Ambrose the 25-21 win in the second set.
In the third set, the Bears regained control by taking an early 7-1 lead after back-to-back kills by Blood. Washington U. quickly extended the lead to 14-4, and maintained a seven- to 10-point advantage throughout the remainder of the set, winning 25-16 on a kill by Tulloch. Washington U. opened the fourth set by taking a 4-0 lead behind a pair of kills by Tulloch. The Queen Bees cut the lead to three several times throughout the set, but were unable to overcome the deficit as a block by Tulloch and Blood gave the Bears a 25-17 win to seal the match victory.
Washington U. hit .237 in the match, while holding St. Ambrose to just .041. The Bears finished with 11 team blocks in the match, but were hurt by 13 service errors. Hargrave led all players with 21 kills, while hitting .400 (21-3-45). Freshman outside hitter Nkiru Udenze also had a big match for Washington U. offensively, equaling her career-high with 12 kills, while hitting .478 (12-1-23). Freshman setter/right-side hitter Allison Zastrow tallied 24 assists, while Fisher added 19. Pang led the Bears defensively with 33 digs, the fifth match this season she has gone over the 30-dig mark. Junior defensive specialist Tanya Marvi added 15 digs. Tulloch and Nelligan each finished with five blocks in the match.
Washington University (27-2) returns to action at the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship tournament Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2-3 in Atlanta. The Bears are the No. 3 seed in the tournament and will face No. 6-seeded University of Rochester at 2 p.m. (ET) in the opening round of the tournament. Washington U. earned a 25-20, 25-20, 25-17 win over the Yellowjackets when the teams played at the first UAA Round Robin Sept. 29 in Chicago.
Bear Notebook: Washington U. improved to 2-0 all-time against St. Ambrose … The Bears finished the regular season with a perfect 17-0 record at the WU Field House … Pang’s 33 digs brought her season total to 581, which ranks fifth on the Washington U. all-time single-season leaders list … Pang also increased her Washington University career digs record total to 2,427.