No. 1 Volleyball Opens 2010 Season with Pair of Home Victories
BOX 1 | BOX 2 | POSTGAME INTERVIEW
St. Louis, Mo., September 1, 2010 – The No. 1 and defending NCAA Division III national champion Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team began its 2010 season with a pair of victories over Greenville College and Harris-Stowe State University on Wednesday, Sept. 1, at the Washington University Field House in St. Louis, Mo.
Junior outside hitter Kristen Thomas tallied 11 kills while hitting .450 to power the Bears to a 3-0 (25-15, 25-17, 25-18) victory over Greenville in the season opener. Freshman outside hitter Meghan Byrne shined in the 3-0 (25-9, 25-8, 25-8) win over Harris-Stowe, notching 14 kills to just one error for a .619 attack percentage. The Bears hit .471 as a team in the three-set win over the Hornets.
The opening set with Greenville began as a back-and-forth contest, but sophomore outside hitter Drew Hargrave’s third kill of the frame broke a 6-6 tie and sparked a Washington U. run. Junior middle hitter Lauren Budde controlled play down the stretch of the 25-15 opening set win and finished the set with five of her eight kills.
Sophomore setter Marilee Fisher and Byrne paced the Bears in the second set, finishing with three kills apiece, and Thomas led the way in the match-clinching third set with five kills. WUSTL hit .397 against the Panthers as a team.
In addition to Byrne’s 14 kills against Harris-Stowe, Thomas chipped in with seven, while hitting .357, and freshman Kaia Schwartz converted six of her seven swings for scores. The Bears utilized three setters in the win, with Fisher (nine assists), sophomore Meg Buker (14 assists) and freshman Megan Odenthal (10 assists) each taking a turn at running the offense.
The 2009 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) National Freshman of the Year, Kelly Pang, finished the night with 21 total digs, with 13 against Greenville and eight more in the win over Harris-Stowe.
Washington U. (2-0) returns to action for the Washington University Classic, to be held Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 4-5, at the Washington University Field House. The Bears open tournament play on Saturday against Fontbonne University at 3 p.m., and the University of Wisconsin-Platteville at 7:30 p.m.