Springfield, Ohio, Sept. 13, 2013 – The No. 6-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team suffered its first two defeats of the 2013 season with losses against No. 5 Hope College and No. 1 Calvin College Friday afternoon at the Wittenberg Fall Classic. The Bears lost to Hope 10-25, 25-21, 22-25, 19-25, before dropping a 17-25, 17-25, 24-26 match against top-ranked Calvin.
#5 Hope 3, #6 Washington U. 1
Hope dominated the first set against Washington U., hitting at a .370 clip with just one error, while the Bears finished with a .000 hitting percentage in the set. The Flying Dutch built a 9-5 lead early with seven kills and no errors on 11 swings to open the match. Hope then went on a 10-1 run to extend its lead to 19-6, before cruising to the 25-10 win in the opening set.
The Bears took an early lead in the second set, and an ace serve by freshman Kalehua Katagiri made it 9-4 in favor of Washington U., before a solo block by freshman Caroline Dupont gave the Bears a 10-5 lead. Hope answered with four-straight points, before a kill by Dupont made it 11-9. With the score tied at 15-15, the Bears put together three-straight points, including an ace serve by senior Meghan Byrne, that gave them an 18-15 lead. The Flying Dutch trimmed the lead to 20-19, but their fourth service error of the set made it 21-19 in favor of Washington U. Back-to-back kills by Dupont made it 23-19, before Hope answered with two points to again pull to within two. Back-to-back attacking errors by Hope gave Washington U. the 25-21 win and evened the match at one set apiece.
Washington U. took an early 5-4 lead in the third set, before an 8-0 run by the Flying Dutch gave Hope a 12-5 lead. Trailing 19-11, the Bears went on a 5-0 run, including back-to-back kills by Byrne and a blocking error by Hope, to pull to within 19-16 and force a timeout by the Flying Dutch. Senior Emily Tulloch provided a spark off the bench for the Bears with back-to-back kills, and a block by Tulloch and sophomore Jackie Nelligan tied the score at 20-20. Hope regained a 22-20 lead, before a kill by Nelligan again made it a one-point deficit, but the Flying Dutch held on for a 25-22 win and took a 2-1 lead in the match.
The Bears again built an early lead in set four, only to have Hope tie at 8-8. After back-to-back kills by freshman Alex Sheredy made it 16-16, a block by Hope and two errors by the Bears gave the Flying Dutch a 19-16 lead. Washington U. got to within 19-18, but Hope went on a 5-0 run to get its first match-point opportunity at 24-18. A service error made it 24-19, but the Flying Dutch won a long rally with a tip shot that trickled over the Bears block to end the match with a 25-19 win in set four.
Sheredy finished with a double-double of 13 kills and 11 digs to lead the Bears offensively, while Nelligan tallied 11 kills. Katagiri had a team-best 17 digs. Sophomore Cassie Wang dished out 21 assists, while sophomore Allison Zastrow finished with 12. As a team, the Bears hit a season-low .090 (42-28-155), while Hope finished with a .283 hitting percentage in the match.
#1 Calvin 3, #6 Washington U. 0
The Bears played evenly with top-ranked Calvin to open the match, and a block by Dupont and sophomore Nkiru Udenze made the score 11-10 in favor of the Knights. Calvin scored the next four points of the set, and that was all the cushion they needed to earn the 25-17 win in the first set. The Knights hit .407 as a team in the opening set, while Washington U. finished with .025 hitting in set one.
In the second set, Washington U. built an 11-8 lead, but Calvin went on a 9-1 run to open up a 17-12 lead. A kill by Dupont made it a four-point deficit, but the Knights went on another 4-1 run to extend the lead to 21-14. A kill and ace serve by Dupont, followed by a block by Zastrow and Nelligan made it 21-17, but the Knights scored the final four points of the set to win 25-17 and take a 2-0 lead in the match.
Washington U. took a 4-1 lead on a block by Dupont and Sheredy to start the third set, but Calvin rallied to take a 7-6 lead on an ace serve. The teams traded leads until a block by Calvin gave the Knights a 19-17 lead. Kills by Dupont and Byrne tied the score and an attack error by Calvin followed by Dupont's third ace of the match, gave Washington U. a 21-19 lead. The Bears took a 22-20 lead on a kill by Nelligan, only to have Calvin tie again at 22-22. Leading 23-22 after another kill by Nelligan, the Bears had a service error tie the score again at 23-23, but a kill by Sheredy gave Washington U. a set-point opportunity at 24-23. Calvin tied the score again with a kill, then won a long rally on an attacking error by the Bears, before finishing the match with an ace serve to seal the three-set victory.
The Bears hit .118 as a team in the match, compared with a .337 hitting percentage for Calvin. Dupont and Byrne led the way for Washington U. with nine kills each. Katagiri was the lone Bear with double-digit digs, recording 13 in the match, and Wang and Zastrow finished with 16 assists each.
Washington U. (8-2) finishes the Wittenberg Fall Classic with a pair of matches Saturday afternoon. The Bears take on their fifth-straight top-25 opponent when they face No. 16 Juniata College at Noon (ET), then end the tournament with a match against Heidelberg University at 4 p.m. (ET).
Bear Notebook: The Bears' set two win against Hope was the first set the Flying Dutch have lost this season … Washington U. leads the all-time series against both Hope (6-3) and Calvin (7-1) … Byrne moved into 18th on Washington U.'s career kills list, bringing her total to 1,076 … Washington U. is now 2-2 against ranked teams this season.