St. Louis, Mo., Aug. 31, 2013 – The No. 7-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team earned a pair of three-set victories over Blackburn College and University of Wisconsin-Platteville Saturday evening on the first day of the Labor Day Classic. The Bears defeated Blackburn, 25-8, 25-6, 25-9, then earned a 25-12, 25-15, 25-22 win over Wisconsin-Platteville.
Washington U. 3, Blackburn 0
The Bears hit .404 and recorded 15 service aces as a team in a 25-8, 25-6, 25-9 win over Blackburn to start the Labor Day Classic. In the final set, Washington U. recorded nine kills on 14 attacks without an error to hit .643. Blackburn finished with just three kills in the match.
Freshman outside hitter Amanda Palucki had a match-high 10 kills in her collegiate debut. Overall, 10 different Bears recorded kills in the match. Sophomore setter Cassie Wang and junior setter Lindsay Juriga finished with eight assists each. Freshman libero Kalehua Katagiri tallied a team-best eight digs. Washington U. also had seven blocks in the match, including three block assists by senior middle hitter Emily Tulloch.
Washington U. 3, UW-Platteville 0
The Bears fell behind 9-8 in the first set against Wisconsin-Platteville, but a kill by freshman outside hitter Alex Sheredy sparked an 8-0 run for Washington U. After trailing by one, the Bears outscored the Pioneers 17-3 to earn the 25-12 win in set one. Wisconsin-Platteville had just one kill in the opening set, while the Bears tallied 13.
In the second set, WUSTL took a 4-0 lead to start the set, but Wisconsin-Platteville tied the score at 9-9. The Bears scored five-straight points, including a pair of kills by sophomore right-side hitter Nkiru Udenze. The Pioneers pulled to within 19-15, but Washington U. scored the final six points of the set to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
Wisconsin-Platteville took a 14-13 lead on an ace serve in the third set, but kills by Sheredy, Tulloch and senior outside hitter Meghan Byrne, and an ace serve by Sheredy turned the deficit into a 17-14 lead for the Bears. The Pioneers battled through four match-point opportunities for the Bears, before Tulloch sealed the win with a kill.
Washington U. finished with .221 hitting as a team, while limiting Wisconsin-Platteville to -.011. Sheredy posted her second double-double of the season with 12 points and 18 digs to lead the way for the Bears. Byrne added eight kills, while freshman middle hitter Caroline Dupont had seven. Wang had a match-high 18 assists, while sophomore setter Allison Zastrow finished with 16. Udenze added five kills and a career-best four block assists for the Bears.
WUSTL (3-0) returns to action with two more matches at the Labor Day Classic Sunday, Sept. 1. The Bears take on Iowa Wesleyan College at 10 a.m., followed by a 12:15 p.m. match against Cornell College.
Bear Notebook: Byrne's eight kills against Wisconsin-Platteville brought her to within one of No. 22 on the Bears' all-time career kills leaderboard … The win over Wisconsin-Platteville marked the 1,115th win in 37 years of volleyball at Washington U. (1,115-230-6, .828).