No. 8 Volleyball Comes Up Short Against Carnegie Mellon in UAA Third-Place Match

Waltham, Mass., Nov. 9, 2013 – The No. 8-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team lost to Carnegie Mellon University 25-22, 22-25, 25-16, 24-26, 9-15 to finish in fourth place at the UAA Championship Saturday at Brandeis University.

Washington U. finished the regular season with a 26-7 record. The Bears will await an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The selection show for the 2013 NCAA Division III Volleyball Championship is scheduled to air at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11, on ncaa.com.

Carnegie Mellon gained an 8-3 lead in the first set, but Washington U. rallied to tie the score at 15-15 after an ace by freshman Kalehua Katagiri and an attack error by the Tartans. Carnegie Mellon scored the next three points, but the Bears answered with three to again tie at 18-18. After trading points, Washington U. regained the lead at 20-19 on a kill by freshman Caroline Dupont. The Tartans tied the score at 21-21, but three straight points by the Bears gave them a 24-21 lead as they earned a 25-22 win in the opening set. Carnegie Mellon used a late 3-0 run to win the second set 25-22 and even the match at 1-1.

The teams played to a 6-6 tie in the third set before the Tartans went on a 7-0 run to build a 13-6 lead. A kill by Carnegie Mellon made the score 16-10, but a kill by freshman Alex Sheredy gave the Bears a sideout. Senior Tanya Marvi then served 14 straight points as the Bears rallied for the 25-16 win. The 15-0 run to end the set included three kills each by sophomore Nkiru Udenze and senior Tessa Blood, along with two blocks by Udenze and sophomore Jackie Nelligan and one by Blood and Nelligan.

Washington U. took an early 5-2 lead on a kill by Udenze in the fourth set. Carnegie Mellon rallied to tie at 6-6 and the teams played back and forth to a 16-15 lead for the Bears after a block by junior Lindsay Juriga and Nelligan. The Tartans went on a 5-0 run to take a 20-16 lead. Trailing 17-21, senior Meghan Byrne tooled the block to make it 18-21. Marvi then served back-to-back aces and Blood got a kill to tie the score at 21-21. After a sideout by the Tartans made it 22-21, Nelligan and Blood teamed up for another block to tie it again and Marvi got a kill from the back row to make it 23-22. A blocking error by the Bears tied the score at 23-23, but another kill by Blood gave the Bears a match-point opportunity at 24-23. Carnegie Mellon rallied with three straight points, including a serving error and an attacking error by Washington U., to take the 26-24 win in set four. The fifth set was all Carnegie Mellon as the Tartans took advantage of seven attacking errors by the Bears to win 15-9.

Both teams finished the match hitting .139, but Washington U. hit just .038 in the fourth and fifth sets combined. Sheredy led the Bears with 15 kills and 17 digs, including seven kills in the first set. Byrne finished with 12 kills, while Blood hit .333 with a season-high 11 kills and five digs. Dupont added 10 kills, while Nelligan had a team-high seven blocks to go with her six kills. Sophomore Cassie Wang notched her 10th double-double of the season with 35 assists and 12 digs, while sophomore Allison Zastrow finished with 17 assists. Katagiri recorded a team-high 23 digs, while Marvi finished with 17 digs and three aces.

Bear Notebook: Washington U. leads the all-time series against Carnegie Mellon 46-2 … The Bears are 114-8 all-time at the UAA Championship, and 291-16 all-time in UAA play.