Top-Ranked Volleyball Comes Back to Beat No. 19 University of Chicago, 3-2
BOX 1 | BOX 2
Atlanta, Ga., October 3, 2010 – The No. 1 Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team erased a 2-0 deficit to come all the way back and defeat No. 19 University of Chicago, 3-2 (18-25, 19-25, 25-18, 25-20, 15-10) on Sunday, Oct. 3, the final day of the first University Athletic Association (UAA) round robin of the season in Atlanta, Ga.
The emotional win over Chicago helped the Bears maintain a perfect record in UAA play, as they picked up a 3-1 (25-14, 25-16, 21-25, 25-15) win over the University of Rochester earlier in the day.
Led by five kills from Colleen Belak, Chicago jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a 25-18 win in the opening set, where Washington University hit .220 as a team, compared to .342 for the Maroons. Washington U. sophomore libero Kelly Pang was banged up and left the match during the early moments of the second set, and Chicago carried its momentum to a 25-19 win.
With their backs against the wall and Pang back in the lineup, the Bears were back on track, controlling play and winning the third set, 25-18. Sophomore outside hitter Drew Hargrave tallied five kills in the third and freshman right side Tessa Blood contributed four kills in the win.
The Bears willed their way to a win in the fourth, despite hitting just .138 as a team. Chicago kept the score close during the early moments of that fourth set, but Washington University pulled away with a 5-0 scoring run in the middle of the frame thanks to a strong serving run from freshman outside Meghan Byrne.
Byrne started the run with a kill to make the score 14-11, and recorded an ace on the next play to provide the Bears with a four-point cushion. Junior middle hitter Lauren Budde notched a kill to make it 17-11, and Byrne’s second ace of the run put the WUSTL advantage at five and the match was headed to a fifth set.
Hargrave helped Washington University seize momentum during the opening plays of the decisive fifth set, hitting a pair of hard line shots as the Bears took a 4-2 lead. Two kills from Byrne hit straight over the Chicago block made the score 7-5, but the Maroons came back to cut their deficit to just one at 9-8.
Another kill from Hargrave, her third of the set, put an end to the Chicago run and started a stretch of three-straight points for Washington U. Kills from Hargrave, Byrne and Blood accounted for the final three WUSTL points, as the Red and Green won the final set, 15-10.
Byrne and Hargrave each had four kills in the fifth set alone, leading Washington University to a team hitting percentage of .381, its highest of the match. Hargrave finished the match with a team-high 16 kills, and Byrne recorded the Bears’ best attack percentage at .407, with 13 kills.
Budde also finished the Chicago match with 13 kills, and had a double-double with 14 digs. Pang’s 20 digs led the defense and she also had a pair of aces.
Washington University was off to a fast start against Rochester, hitting better than .300 in each of the first two sets against the Yellowjackets. Budde and Byrne each tallied four kills in the opening set victory, with sophomore setter Marilee Fisher assisting 13 of 14 kills.
The Bears were equally impressive in the second set, hitting .344 as Budde and junior outside hitter Kristen Thomas tallied four kills apiece. However, Washington University had trouble closing out the sweep, and dropped the third set 25-21, to head to a fourth frame. Freshman setter Megan Odenthal recorded 15 assists in that third set, but the Bears committed 10 attacking errors and six serving errors in the loss, hitting just .216 as a team.
The offense was back on track in the fourth, as Washington University jumped out to a 9-4 lead early on, and led by as many as 11 points with the score at 19-8. Hargrave notched two kills during the Bears’ early run in the fourth, and finished the final set with a team-high six kills as Washington University limited Rochester to a .031 hitting percentage.
Budde (14), Hargrave (11), Byrne (11) and Blood (10) reached double figures in kills and Pang led the defense with 19 digs.
Washington U. (17-0, 3-0 UAA) returns to action on Friday, Oct. 9, when it hosts Westminster College and Mount Union University at the Washington University Field House in St. Louis, Mo. The match with Westminster is scheduled for 5:15 p.m., with Mount Union to follow at 7:30 p.m.