No. 1 Washington U. Volleyball Tops No. 11 Elmhurst, No. 12 UW-Whitewater at ASICS National Invitational
UW-WHITEWATER BOX SCORE
ELMHURST BOX SCORE
St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 7, 2012 - The No. 1-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team earned two wins over top-15 teams to improve to 8-0 on the season on the first day of the WU/ASICS National Invitational on Friday at the WU Field House. The Bears beat No. 12 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 3-0, and knocked off No. 11 Elmhurst College, 3-1.
In the Bears’ first match of the tournament, Washington U. held off a tough Wisconsin-Whitewater team to win 25-21, 27-25, 25-23. Washington U. hit just .205 as a team in the match, but finished with nine blocks and seven ace serves to earn the win. In the first set, the Bears jumped out to a 5-1 lead before the Warhawks battled back to tie the score at 6-6. The two teams traded points until a kill by junior outside hitter Meghan Byrne gave the Bears a 21-20 lead. A solo block by freshman middle hitter Jackie Nelligan made it a two-point cushion for Washington U. and forced the Warhawks to call timeout. Following the timeout, a Wisconsin-Whitewater error and a kill by freshman right-side hitter Allison Zastrow gave the Bears set point. Wisconsin-Whitewater was able to get a sideout, but a block by Nelligan and Zastrow finished the set, 25-21.
In the second set, the Warhawks took advantage of some early hitting errors by the Bears to take an 8-3 lead. Washington U. rallied to tie the score, 9-9, on a kill by senior outside hitter Drew Hargrave, and a block by Hargrave and junior middle hitter Emily Tulloch made it 10-9 in favor of the Bears. The teams again battled back and forth until a kill by Hargrave and an ace serve by senior setter Marilee Fisher tied the score 20-20. After an error by the Warhawks, Hargrave hammered another kill to give Washington U. a 22-20 lead. UW-Whitewater ran off three-straight points to retake the lead, 23-22, but a tip kill by Hargrave and an ace by senior libero Kelly Pang gave the Bears set point at 24-23. Back-to-back hitting errors by Washington U. gave Wisconsin-Whitewater a chance at set point (25-24), but back-to-back kills by Byrne and an ace serve by Tulloch sealed the second-set win for the Bears, 27-25.
The Bears fell behind 14-8 to open the third set before going on an 8-1 run to take a 16-15 lead on an ace by Tulloch. Wisconsin-Whitewater was able to retake the lead 20-17, which forced Washington U. to take a timeout. Kills by Fisher and Hargrave brought the Bears to within one before an ace by Byrne tied the score, 20-20. With the score tied 22-22, Washington U. outscored the Warhawks 3-1 on three kills by Hargrave to finish the match with a 25-23 win in set three.
Hargrave led the Bears with 15 kills while hitting .364 in the match, and Byrne also tallied double-digit kills with 14. Tulloch had five kills, three aces, four digs and five blocks for Washington U. Fisher finished with 36 assists and eight digs, while Pang led the Bears defensively with 22 digs. Sophomore right-side hitter Lindsay Juriga provided a big spark off the bench for the Bears, finishing with four blocks, a kill and an assist, all in the third set.
Byrne came out on fire in the first set against Elmhurst, smashing eight kills on 11 swings. The Bears jumped out to a 9-5 lead behind three-straight kills by Byrne. The Bluejays ralled to get to within 12-11 before four unanswered points by Washington U. put the Bears ahead, 16-11. Washington U. maintained about a five-point lead to 22-17, before back-to-back terminations by Byrne made it 24-17. After a sideout by Elmhurst, a service error by the Bluejays gave the Bears the 25-18 victory in the first set.
Elmhurst scored the first six points of the second set, but Washington U. chipped away until a pair of aces by freshman defensive specialist Anna Bryniarski and a kill by Fisher tied the score, 11-11. The teams traded points until two kills by Nelligan gave the Bears a 24-22 lead. Elmhurst got a sideout to make it 24-23, but another service error ended the set, 25-23, as Washington U. took a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Bears fell behind, 4-1, to open the third set, but Zastrow served four-straight points to help give Washington U. a 6-4 lead. After a 12-12 tie, Washington U. put together four-straight points, including an ace by Tulloch, to take a 16-12 lead. The Bears had just two kills the remainder of the set, however, and Elmhurst took advantage of seven hitting errors by Washington U. down the stretch to get a 25-23 win and force a fourth set.
Washington U. was in control throughout the first set, never trailing Elmhurst. After a service error by the Bears cut their lead to 16-14, Washington U. scored the next nine-straight points, including three kills by Byrne, to finish the match with a decisive 25-14 win in the fourth set.
Byrne had a season-best 16 kills and seven digs, while Hargrave finished with 12 kills against Elmhurst. Nelligan posted a career-high eight kills and three blocks. Fisher dished out a season-high 42 assists, while also tallying nine digs and six kills. Pang led three players in double figures for digs with a season-high 28 digs. Bryniarski had a career-high 18 digs to go with her four aces in the match, while freshman defensive specialist Anna Hunter also posted a career-high with 10 digs.
Washington University (8-0) finishes its 10-match homestand with a pair of matches in the WU/ASICS National Invitational on Saturday. The Bears are set to face No. 23 Otterbein University at 12:30 p.m., followed by a 3 p.m. match against No. 24 Concordia College (Minn.). In the other matches on Friday, Otterbein defeated Concordia, 3-1 (19-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-20), Elmhurst def. Concordia, 3-0 (25-21, 25-12, 25-17), and Otterbein upset UW-Whitewater, 3-2 (21-25, 25-16, 18-25, 28-26, 15-6).
Bear Notebook: Pang’s 50 digs on Friday brought her career total to 1,994, which is just 51 digs shy of becoming Washington University’s all-time career leader … Washington U. now has an overall record of 427-48 (.899) in matches at the WU Field House since 1985 … With their wins, the Bears took an 18-9 lead in the all-time series against UW-Whitewater, and a 7-6 lead in the all-time series against Elmhurst.