No. 3 Washington University Volleyball Earns 3-0 Win Over No. 15 Chicago in Regional Semifinal
Elmhurst, Ill., November 10, 2012 – The No. 3-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team earned a 3-0 win over No. 15 University of Chicago Saturday afternoon to advance to the 2012 NCAA Regional Championship at Elmhurst College.
The Bears (31-3) earned a 25-23, 25-23, 25-20 win over the Maroons in the third meeting between the two teams this season. Washington U. will play No. 9 Elmhurst at 4 p.m. Sunday in the regional championship.
The Bears led from start to finish in a tough opening set. A kill by Chicago brought the Bears to within 7-4, but Washington U. got the next point with a kill by junior outside hitter Meghan Byrne on a long rally that included two big digs by senior setter Marilee Fisher. The Bears added three more points, including a solo block and a kill by freshman middle hitter Jackie Nelligan, to build an 11-4 lead. After a block by junior middle hitter Emily Tulloch and freshman right-side hitter Nkiru Udenze made the score 16-9, Chicago went on a 5-0 run to cut the lead to 16-14. A kill by Byrne ended the rally with the Bears on top, 17-14. Udenze recorded a kill to give the Bears a set-point opportunity at 24-21. Chicago scored two points in a row to get to within 24-23, but a roll shot by Byrne gave Washington U. the 25-23 win in the first set.
Washington U. grabbed an early lead in the second set, with a solo block by freshman setter Allison Zastrow giving the Bears a 10-6 lead. The Maroons closed the gap to two (11-9) after an attacking error by the Bears, before three-straight points, including two kills by Tulloch, extended the lead to 14-9. Chicago got to within one, but was unable to ever overtake the Bears’ lead through the remainder of the set and Byrne again ended the set, 25-23, with a roll shot to the middle of the court.
Chicago took its second lead of the match, 4-3, in the third set, before a 5-0 run by the Bears made it 8-4 in favor of Washington U. The Maroons kept the score close with five service errors by the Bears in the set, but Washington U. pulled away for the 25-20 win to seal the match victory.
Washington U. hit .270 in the match, while holding Chicago to .175 hitting including .000 (7-7-25) in the third set. Byrne and senior outside hitter Drew Hargrave each recorded 12 kills to lead the Bears while Udenze and Nelligan each finished with seven. Zastrow had a career-high 41 assists and seven digs. Junior defensive specialist Tanya Marvi led the Bears defensively with 10 digs, while Udenze and senior libero Kelly Pang each finished with nine.
Bear Notebook: Washington U. improved to 93-16 all-time in the NCAA Tournament … The Bears also improved to 37-1 all-time against Chicago … The Bears also swept the Maroons in the regional semifinal in 2011 … Pang brought her career school-record digs total to 2,508 … Hargrave moved into seventh on the Washington University single-season attacks list (1,091) … Byrne is now 22 kills shy of reaching 1,000 for her career.