No. 1 Washington U. Advances to UAA Championship With Wins Over Rochester, No. 16 Chicago
ROCHESTER BOX | CHICAGO BOX
Atlanta, Ga., November 2, 2012 – The No. 1-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team earned wins over University of Rochester and No. 16 University of Chicago to advance to the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship final for the 24th-straight year. The Bears will face No. 6 Emory University for the title at 1 p.m. (ET) Saturday.
After earning a 25-23, 25-19, 25-14 win over Rochester in the quarterfinal round, Washington U. (29-2, 8-1 UAA) avenged its only conference loss of the season with a 25-15, 25-23, 23-25, 25-23 win over Chicago in the semifinal. Emory (30-5, 8-1 UAA) advanced to the championship match with a semifinal win over Case Western Reserve University. It marks the ninth-consecutive year that the Bears and Eagles will square off for the conference championship. Washington U. earned a five-set win over Emory when the teams played Oct. 14 in Pittsburgh.
#1 Washington U. 3, Rochester 0
After Washington U. jumped out to an 8-3 lead in the first set following an ace serve by sophomore defensive specialist Lauren Yung, Rochester rallied to tie the score at 9-9. The teams remained close through much of the set before a kill by freshman middle hitter Jackie Nelligan gave the Bears a 21-16 lead. The Yellowjackets battled back to tie the score again at 23-23, but a service error and an attacking error gave Washington U. a 25-23 win in the first set.
In the second set, a block by Rochester gave the Yellowjackets a 9-6 lead. Back-to-back kills by Nelligan and an ace serve by freshman right-side hitter Allison Zastrow tied the score. The Bears tacked on four more points following a timeout by Rochester to turn the three-point deficit into a four-point lead. Washington U. led the remainder of the set, and a kill by senior libero Kelly Pang to the deep left corner of the court gave the Bears the 25-19 win.
The teams played to an 11-11 tie to start the third set, but the Bears went on a 6-1 run that included back-to-back kills by freshman outside hitter Nkiru Udenze to take a 17-12 lead. After each team got a sideout to make it 18-13, Udenze served five-straight points, including back-to-back aces, to make it 23-13. Kills by Udenze and junior middle hitter Kaia Schwartz ended the match for the Bears, 25-14.
Nelligan finished with a team-high seven kills. Udenze tallied four kills, three aces and three blocks, while Schwartz also contributed three blocks. Senior setter Marilee Fisher finished with a double-double of 28 assists and 10 digs, while Pang recorded 15 digs and three aces.
#1 Washington U. 3, #16 Chicago 1
The Bears came out firing in the opening set against Chicago, building a 15-7 lead after a solo block by Udenze. Back-to-back kills by senior outside hitter Drew Hargrave and junior middle hitter Emily Tulloch pushed the Washington U. lead to 10 (22-12), before a kill by Udenze finished the set for the Bears, 25-15.
In the second set, the teams played back and forth until Chicago grabbed an 11-9 lead following an attack error on the Bears. Washington U. answered with three-straight points, including kills by Hargrave and Tulloch, to regain the lead, 12-11. The teams traded points again until another attacking error by the Bears gave Chicago an 18-16 lead. A kill from the back row by junior defensive specialist Tanya Marvi and a tip kill by Udenze tied the score again, 18-18. Kills by junior outside hitter Meghan Byrne and a setter dump by Fisher put Washington U. ahead 23-22 and forced the Maroons to call timeout. Chicago got a sideout following the timeout, but kills by Byrne and Hargrave ended the set, 25-23, and put the Bears ahead 2-0 in the match.
The third set was much like the second, with 14 tie scores and nine lead changes, as neither team gained more than a three-point advantage in the set. The Maroons scored three points in a row to take a 22-20 lead before a kill by Hargrave off an overpass brought the Bears to within one. A kill by Chicago made it 23-21 in favor of the Maroons, but back-to-back kills by Tulloch tied the score again at 23-23. Following a timeout, the Maroons scored the final two points to win the set, 25-23, and force a fourth set.
Washington U. opened up a 10-6 lead on a kill by Schwartz in the fourth set, but Chicago rallied to score eight of the next 10 points to take a 14-12 lead and force the Bears to use both of their timeouts. Following the second timeout, Washington U. scored four unanswered points, including a block by Tulloch and Udenze, and an ace by Pang, to take a 16-14 lead. The Maroons pulled even again at 18-18, before Washington U. strung together four-straight points, including a block by Hargrave and kills by Fisher and Schwartz, to make it 22-18. Chicago got to within one, before a tip kill by Hargrave gave the Bears match point, 24-22. The Maroons battled off one match-point opportunity for Washington U., but Hargrave finished the match for the Bears, 25-23, with a kill off the block to end a long rally.
The Bears hit .243 in the match, including .378 in the first set, while holding Chicago to .176 hitting for the match. Hargrave tallied a match-high 18 kills to lead four Washington U. players with double-digit kills. Tulloch added 14 kills, while Udenze finished with career-highs of 13 kills and nine digs. Schwartz also finished in double-figures with a season-high 10 kills. Fisher recorded 55 assists, while Pang led three Bears in double-digit digs with 28. Marvi finished with 20 digs, while Yung had a career-high 17.
Bear Notebook: Washington U. improved to 46-1 all-time against Rochester, and 36-1 all-time against Chicago … The Bears are now 284-12 (.959 winning percentage) all-time in UAA matches, including 113-5 all-time at the UAA Championship Tournament… With the win over Chicago, Washington U. improved to 10-2 against top-25 opponents this season … Pang brought her season total to 624 digs, which ranks second on Washington U.’s all-time single-season list behind her own school record of 702 in 2009 … Pang also increased her career school-record digs total to 2,470.