No. 3 Washington University Volleyball Comes Up Short in Regional Championship Loss at No. 9 Elmhurst
Elmhurst, Ill., November 11, 2012 – The No. 3-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team had its season come to an end with a 25-19, 25-19, 25-22 loss at No. 9 Elmhurst College in the NCAA Regional Championship Sunday afternoon.
Washington University ended the season with a 31-4 overall record, while Elmhurst improved to 32-7. Senior outside hitter Drew Hargrave and junior outside hitter Meghan Byrne were each named to the NCAA Regional all-tournament team, joining Caroline Brander of University of Chicago, Leanna Lillge of University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and Sam Szarmach, Kaitlyn Wilks and Megan Reynolds of Elmhurst. Reynolds was named the most valuable player of the regional.
After the two teams battled back-and-forth to open the match, Elmhurst took control late in the first set. A service error by the Bluejays gave Washington U. a 17-16 lead, but Elmhurst finished the set with a 9-2 run that include three ace serves to earn a 25-19 win in the first set. In the second set, Elmhurst took a 7-6 lead and stretched it to as many as eight points (21-13). Junior middle hitter Emily Tulloch and Hargrave combined for five-straight kills behind solid serving by freshman setter Allison Zastrow, to close to within 18-21, before Elmhurst finished the set with a 25-19 win.
In the third set, Hargrave hammered four kills as the Bears took a 5-3 lead, before Elmhurst answered with an 8-1 run to open up an 11-6 lead. The Bears cut the lead to 11-8 after back-to-back kills by Byrne. Elmhurst again stretched its lead to five (14-9). Three-straight kills by freshman middle hitter Jackie Nelligan, Hargrave and Tulloch brought the Bears to within 14-12 and forced the Bluejays to call timeout. Elmhurst maintained its lead, stretching it to 21-17 before a kill by Zastrow and an ace serve by Byrne again brought the Bears within two (21-19). After the Bluejays got a match-point opportunity at 24-20, the Bears scored two points on hitting errors by Elmhurst to again cut the lead to two (24-22), but Elmhurst got a kill to seal the win at 25-22.
Washington University hit .259 in the match, including .353 in the second set. Elmhurst, meanwhile, finished with .327 hitting in the match. The Bluejays out-blocked the Bears 4-0, and Elmhurst also recorded nine service aces in the match. Hargrave led Washington U. with 14 kills, including seven in the third set. Tulloch added 11 kills and Byrne finished with seven. Zastrow recorded 35 assists and seven digs. Junior defensive specialist Tanya Marvi tallied a team-high 15 digs, while senior libero Kelly Pang finished with 12 and senior setter Marilee Fisher added five.
Bear Notebook: Washington U. is now 93-17 all-time in the NCAA Tournament … The Bears are 7-7 all-time against Elmhurst, including a 3-1 win over the Bluejays Sept. 7… The senior class of Meg Buker, Fisher, Hargrave and Pang ended their careers with a 134-14 overall record in their four seasons at Washington University … Pang finished her career with a school-record 2,520 digs, and her 674 digs in 2012 ranks second on the Washington U. single-season list … Hargrave recorded 1,133 attacks this season, which ranks fifth on the Washington University single-season list … Hargrave also finished her career ranked eighth on the career attacks list with 3,220 … Fisher ended her career with 4,475 assists, which ranks fourth all-time in Washington U. history … Byrne will enter her senior season in 2013 just 15 kills shy of 1,000 in her career.