No. 8 Volleyball Tops Brandeis, Falls to No. 6 Emory at UAA Championship

Waltham, Mass., Nov. 8, 2013 – The No. 8-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team defeated Brandeis University (25-23, 22-25, 25-16, 25-13) in the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship quarterfinal before falling to No. 6 Emory University (23-25, 24-26, 16-25) in the semifinal Friday afternoon at Brandeis.

Washington U. (26-6) will face Carnegie Mellon University (24-9) in the third-place match at 10 a.m. (ET) Saturday in Waltham. The Tartans earned a four-set win over New York University and lost in three sets to University of Chicago in Friday's action.

#8 Washington U. 3, Brandeis 1
Washington U. got off to a slow start in the first match of the day, hitting below .100 with 22 attacking errors the first two sets. The Bears held on for a 25-23 win in set one, but dropped the second set 22-25. After splitting the first two sets, Washington U. got on track in set three, jumping out to a 9-2 lead on a block by freshman Caroline Dupont and senior Tessa Blood. After a timeout by the Judges, Dupont got a kill to extend the lead to eight points. Leading 16-9 later in the set, Washington U. scored four straight points, including an ace by sophomore Allison Zastrow and a tip kill by Dupont, to make it 20-9 in favor of the Bears. Brandeis answered with a 6-0 run to pull to within 20-15, but Washington U. finished the set with a 5-1 run to win the third set 25-16.

The Bears built a 6-0 lead with six kills, including two each by senior Meghan Byrne and sophomore Nkiru Udenze, in the fourth set. Washington U. continued to dominate, extending the lead to 16-3 after two kills each by Dupont and freshman Alex Sheredy and an attacking error by the Judges. A serving error by Brandeis later gave Washington U. a match-point opportunity at 24-9, but the Judges scored four straight points before a kill by sophomore Anna Hunter ended the match as the Bears earned a 25-13 win in set four.

Sheredy and Dupont finished with 12 kills each to lead the Bears, while Byrne added 11. Sheredy and Byrne also recorded double-doubles with 14 digs and 10 digs each, respectively, while Dupont had a team-high five blocks. Sophomore Cassie Wang tallied a career-high 37 assists and eight digs, while Zastrow finished with 10 assists and hit .385 with five kills and no errors on 13 attacks. Freshman Kalehua Katagiri led the Bears defensively with a career-high 39 digs.

#6 Emory 3, #8 Washington U. 0
Emory grabbed an early 4-1 lead in the opening set, and held the lead through 13-10. Back-to-back kills by Dupont and Byrne, followed by an ace by Sheredy tied the score at 13-13, but a 4-0 run gave the Eagles the lead back for good. An attack error by the Bears made it 19-14 in favor of Emory, but Washington U. went on a 4-1 run, including three kills by Byrne to get to within 20-19. A serving error ended the run by the Bears and Emory got its first set-point opportunity at 24-21. Dupont hammered a kill off a one-handed set by Wang, and a second kill by Dupont made it 24-23, but the Bears' third serving error of the set gave Emory the 25-23 win.

Sheredy accounted for five of Washington U.'s first seven kills of the second set as the Bears took a 9-5 lead. Emory closed the lead to 12-9 but a kill by Udenze off an overpass, followed by a solo block by Dupont and a kill by Sheredy extended the lead to 15-9. Emory trimmed the Bears' lead to 17-16, before a kill by Dupont and back-to-back errors by the Eagles made it 20-16. A setting error by Emory gave Washington U. a 22-19 lead, but the Eagles went on a 6-0 run to turn the deficit into a 24-22 lead. A serving error and a ball-handling error by the Eagles tied the score at 24-24, but Emory finished the set with a pair of kills to win 26-24 and take a 2-0 lead in the match. The Eagles hit a blistering .429 in the third set to win 25-16 and seal the match.

Washington U. hit .136 in the match compared with .260 for the Eagles. Emory also had 10 team blocks, while the Bears finished with five. Sheredy finished with 10 kills, including seven in the second set, six digs and two aces, while Dupont also tallied 10 kills to lead the Bears offensively. Wang had a double-double with 16 assists and 11 digs, while Zastrow finished with 13 assists. Katagiri finished with a team-high 16 digs.

Bear Notebook: Washington U. leads the all-time series against Brandeis (37-0) and Emory (47-9) … The loss to Emory snapped a season-long 12-match win streak for the Bears … Byrne moved up to No. 12 on Washington U.'s all-time career kills list (1,246) and is 63 kills shy of entering the top-10.