No. 8 Volleyball Extends Win Streak to 11 with Sweeps of Wisconsin Lutheran, Buffalo State

St. Louis, Mo., Nov. 2, 2013 – The No. 8-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team pushed its winning streak to 11 matches as the Bears earned 3-0 wins over Wisconsin Lutheran College (25-21, 25-14, 25-9) and Buffalo State College (25-10, 25-19, 25-22) Saturday at the Bears Invitational.

Seniors Tessa Blood and Tanya Marvi, and freshman Caroline Dupont were selected to the all-tournament team for Washington U. They joined Buffalo State's Kelsey Bashore and Samantha Parente, and Wisconsin Lutheran's Kayla Ridegman on the all-tournament team.

#8 Washington U. 3, Wisconsin Lutheran 0
Washington U. got off to a slow start in the opening set against Wisconsin Lutheran, playing to a 13-13 tie despite having just three kills on its first 13 attacks. The Warriors grabbed a 19-17 lead, but the Bears went on a 6-0 run with freshman Kalehua Katagiri serving to take control of the set. Katagiri dropped an ace serve in the back corner, and Dupont teamed up with sophomore Nkiru Udenze and freshman Alex Sheredy for two blocks during the Bears' run. A kill by Dupont ended the set as the Bears won 25-21.

In set two, the Bears held a 7-6 lead before a kill by Udenze sparked a 9-1 run as the Bears built a 16-7 lead. Blood hammered a kill to give Washington U. a 25-14 win in the second set and a 2-0 lead in the match. The third set was all Bears. Washington U. took an early 4-3 lead, then used a 7-0 run, including a pair of aces by Katagiri, to make it 11-3. After two points by Wisconsin Lutheran brought the Warriors within 11-5, the Bears put together nine straight points, including three aces by freshman Corey Salzer, to quickly take command with a 20-5 lead. A solo block by Dupont and a kill off the block by senior Meghan Byrne sealed the 25-9 win in set three to end the match for the Bears.

Washington U. hit .241 in the match, while limiting Wisconsin Lutheran to -.020 hitting. Nine different players recorded kills in the match for the Bears, led by Dupont's 10 kills on 18 swings. She also had a career-high nine blocks. Sophomore Jackie Nelligan added six kills while hitting .667, and Byrne had five kills on 11 swings for a .455 attack percentage. Sophomore Cassie Wang tallied 18 assists, five digs and two blocks, while sophomore Allison Zastrow added 10 assists, five digs and one block. Katagiri led the Bears defensively with 12 digs and also recorded three aces, and Marvi chipped in with six digs, a career-best three kills and two aces.

#8 Washington U. 3, Buffalo State 0
The Bears recorded five kills on their first six attacks in the opening set against Buffalo State, including three kills on three swings by Nelligan, as Washington U. jumped out to a 6-0 lead. Kills by Blood, Sheredy and Nelligan pushed the Bears' lead to 9-1. Washington U.'s offensive attack continued to dominate as a kill by Sheredy made it 13-3. Buffalo State pulled to within seven on a kill by Parente, but was unable to cut into the deficit any more. Leading 17-9, the Bears went on a 5-0 run, including two kills by Byrne and an ace by Wang, to make it 22-9. A service error gave the Bengals a sideout, but an attacking error returned the serve to the Bears, and Nelligan recorded back-to-back kills to give the Bears the 25-10 opening-set win. Washington U. finished with a .548 attack percentage in the first set with 19 kills and just two errors on 31 attacks.

In the second set, two kills by Nelligan and back-to-back aces by Byrne helped the Bears build a 6-0 lead. Buffalo State rallied to within one at 12-11 on an ace by Bashore, but the Bears answered with an 8-2 run, including three kills by Dupont and two by Nelligan, to extend the lead to 20-13. A service error and a Bengals kill made it 20-15, before a kill by senior Emily Tulloch gave the Bears the sideout. Washington U. made it 22-15 when Tulloch made a diving dig that helped setup a kill by Byrne. Buffalo State again pulled to within 22-18, but was unable to get any closer as Washington U. won 25-19 to take a 2-0 lead in the match.

Buffalo State took a 3-0 lead in the third set, and led 9-6 after an attack by the Bears sailed long. Kills by Dupont and Zastrow brought Washington U. to within 9-8, but a ball-handling error gave the Bengals a sideout and the 10-8 lead. A service error by Buffalo State, followed by back-to-back aces by Dupont gave the Bears the lead at 11-10. The teams traded points to a 14-13 lead for the Bengals, but an attack error by Buffalo State started a 6-0 run for the Bears. With Katagiri serving, Dupont hammered three kills and teamed up with Blood and Udenze for a pair of blocks during the run that made the score 19-14 in favor of Washington U. The Bears led 20-15 after a kill by Blood, but the Bengals pulled to within 20-18. The teams traded sideouts the remainder of the set and a block by Blood and Nelligan ended the match with the 25-22 win in set three.

Washington U. hit .311 in the match, marking the seventh time the team has hit above .300 in a match this season. Dupont and Nelligan finished with 14 kills each to lead the Bears, while combining for a .625 attack percentage. Nelligan also finished with four block assists, while Dupont added two and Blood recorded a team-high five. Byrne also had a big match, hitting .389 with eight kills, two aces and five digs. Wang recorded her eighth double-double of the season with a match-high 29 assists and 14 digs, while Zastrow added 13 assists. Katagiri equaled her career-high with 21 digs.

Washington University (25-5) travels to Waltham, Mass., for the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship hosted by Brandeis University Friday-Saturday, Nov. 8-9. The Bears, who are the No. 2 seed in the tournament, face host Brandeis in the opening round at 12 p.m. (ET) Nov. 8. Washington U. will then take on either No. 6-ranked Emory University or Case Western Reserve University in a second match that afternoon.

Bear Notebook: With its three wins on the weekend, Washington U. has now recorded double-digit win streaks in each of the past 28 seasons, dating to the 1986 season … Byrne moved up to No. 13 on Washington U.'s all-time career kills list (1,229) and is just two kills behind Drew Hargrave … Byrne also moved up to No. 9 on the Bears' all-time career attacks list (3,128) over the weekend … It was the first meeting in school history between Washington U. and Wisconsin Lutheran … The Bears lead the all-time series 2-0 against Buffalo State; it was the first meeting between the two teams since 1987 … Washington U. has posted a record of 453-49 (.902) at home since 1985, and finished the regular season 17-1 at the WU Field House … The senior class of Blood, Byrne, Marvi and Tulloch has helped the Bears to a 125-15 (.893) overall record and a 77-3 (.963) record at home in their four seasons.