No. 1 Washington University Volleyball Splits Matches on Final Day of Wittenberg Fall Classic
HEIDELBERG BOX | HOPE BOX
Springfield, Ohio, Sept. 15, 2012 – The No. 1-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team earned a three-set win over No. 21 Heidelberg University (25-20, 26-24, 25-17), but suffered its first loss of the season in five sets to No. 7 Hope College (24-26, 25-18, 27-25, 20-25, 15-17) on Saturday afternoon at the Wittenberg Fall Classic.
#1 Washington U. 3, #21 Heidelberg 0
Washington U. had one of its best offensive performances of the season in the opening set against Heidelberg, pounding out 15 kills with just one error on 30 attacks (.467 attack percentage). The Bears and Heidelberg played evenly through much of the first set before a block by junior outside hitter Meghan Byrne and freshman middle hitter Jackie Nelligan gave the Bears a 15-13 lead. Washington U. stretched its lead to four points (22-18) with a kill by junior middle hitter Emily Tulloch, before Nelligan finished the set with a kill to give the Bears a 25-20 win.
Strong serving by Heidelberg and five early hitting errors by the Bears put the Student Princes ahead 18-8 in the second set. Washington U. rallied, and five-straight points served by senior setter Marilee Fisher brought the Bears to within 17-19. A kill by Heidelberg put the Student Princes back on top by three (22-19), but kills by Byrne, Nelligan and freshman right-side hitter Allison Zastrow tied the score at 22-22. A kill by Fisher gave the Bears their first lead of the set (23-22). The teams traded points to a tie at 24-24, before Byrne’s sixth kill of the set gave Washington U. a 25-24 lead and an attack error by Heidelberg gave the Bears the 26-24 win.
Heidelberg took at early 6-4 lead in the third set, before Washington U. strung together five-straight points to take a 9-6 lead. The Bears led the rest of the match, as the offensive attack again got hot, finishing with 19 kills and a .327 attack percentage in the set. Overall, Washington U. finished with a .345 attack percentage (50-9-119) in the match, the Bears’ second-highest mark of the season.
Senior outside hitter Drew Hargrave and Byrne finished with 11 kills each, while Tulloch hammered 10 kills. Zastrow added eight kills, including five in the final set. Fisher tallied 43 assists, while senior libero Kelly Pang (20) and junior defensive specialist Tanya Marvi (12) each recorded double-digit digs.
#1 Washington U. 2, #7 Hope 3
For the third time in four matches at the tournament, Washington U. found itself in a hard-fought battle in the fifth set against Hope. After the Bears took a 2-1 lead in the match, Hope won the fourth set (25-20) to force a deciding set. In the final set, the teams battled point-for-point until Hope took a 13-11 lead on back-to-back kills. A solo block by Fisher, followed by a block by Hargrave and Nelligan, brought the Bears even at 13-13. A kill by Hargrave gave the Bears a match-point opportunity (14-13), but the Flying Dutch answered with a kill after a timeout to tie the score, 14-14. Hargrave hammered her fifth kill of the set to make it 15-14, but Hope got a sideout to again draw even, 15-15. The Flying Dutch managed back-to-back aces to end the set and win the match, 17-15.
The two teams battled back-and-forth throughout the match, with three of the four sets decided by two points. Hope led by as many as 23-17 in the opening set before the Bears rallied to within 22-23. After a net violation was called on the Bears, Hargrave got a kill to bring Washington U. back to within 23-24 before another net violation gave Hope the 23-25 first-set win. Washington U. came back with a strong second set. With the score tied 8-8, the Bears ran off four-straight points to open up a four-point lead (12-8) behind strong serving by Marvi. Hope closed to within 13-11 after a hitting error by Washington U., but another four-point run by the Bears stretched the lead to six (17-11). Washington U. controlled the remainder of the set, and a kill by Hargrave gave the Bears a 25-18 win in the second set.
In the third set, Nelligan made a solo block to give Washington U. a 17-14 lead before Hope rallied to tie the score at 19-19. The Flying Dutch took the lead again and had set-point opportunities at 24-23 and 25-24, but the Bears answered with a kill by Tulloch on the first and a kill by Zastrow on the second made it 25-25. Zastrow then got an ace serve to put Washington U. in front, 26-25, and Byrne hit one between the blockers to end the set, 27-25, and put the Bears ahead 2-1 in the match. Hope led throughout the fourth set, eventually winning 25-20 to force the fifth set.
The Bears hit .234 in the match, including .412 in the fifth set (7-0-17). As a team, Washington U. also finished with season-highs of 114 digs and 12 blocks in the match. Hargrave led the Bears with a career-high 24 kills and three blocks, while Byrne also recorded double-digit kills with 16. Tulloch, Nelligan and Zastrow each finished with eight kills. Zastrow added a career-best 20 digs, while Nelligan finished with a career-best eight blocks, including six solo stops. Fisher tallied 50 assists and a career-high 17 digs. Marvi led Washington U. defensively with 26 digs, and Pang added 21.
Washington University (13-1) returns to action at the first University Athletic Association (UAA) round robin on Sept. 29-30 in Chicago. The Bears are scheduled to take on University of Rochester and Brandeis University on Sept. 29, before taking on Case Western Reserve University on Sept. 30.
Bear Notebook: It was the first-ever meeting between Washington U. and Heidelberg … The win for Hope was just the second in eight matches all-time against Washington U. … The Bears are now 7-1 against ranked teams this season … Hargrave has 175 kills this season and is just 20 shy of 1,000 kills for her career … Pang’s 41 digs on the day brought her WUSTL career record to 2,126 … Fisher surpassed 4,000 career assists in the match against Hope, and ranks fifth in Washington U. school history with 4,005.