No. 10 Volleyball Upsets No. 1 Calvin, Falls to No. 5 Cal Lutheran

No. 10 Volleyball Upsets No. 1 Calvin, Falls to No. 5 Cal Lutheran

Springfield, Ohio, Sept. 12, 2014 – After taking No. 5 California Lutheran University to five sets, the No. 10-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team earned a four-set win over No. 1 Calvin College Friday at the Wittenberg Fall Classic. The Bears lost to Cal Lu 25-14, 23-25, 17-25, 25-20, 14-16, then defeated Calvin 26-24, 25-15, 21-25, 28-26.

Washington U. (9-2) returns to action with two more matches at the Wittenberg Fall Classic Saturday. The Bears take on Otterbein University at Noon (ET), before finishing the tournament against Heidelberg University at 4 p.m.

#5 Cal Lutheran 3, #10 Washington U. 2

Washington U. came out hot against Cal Lutheran in the opening set. The Bears hit .444 as a team with just one attacking error to earn a 25-14 set-one win. A roll shot from the back row by sophomore Alex Sheredy and a cross-court kill by junior Allison Zastrow put the Bears ahead 6-1. After Cal Lutheran rallied to tie the score at 10-10, the Bears went on a 9-1 run to open up a 19-11 lead. Junior Nkiru Udenze had two kills and sophomore Caroline Dupont was part of a pair of blocks for WUSTL during the run. The Regals closed the deficit to 21-14, but a solo block by Dupont on a hit from the back row by the Regals, followed by a kill by Zastrow and an ace by Dupont gave the Bears set-point. Miscommunication by CLU gave the Bears the 25-14 win.

Cal Lutheran got its offense going in the second set, building a 16-11 lead to force a timeout by the Bears. The Regals maintained the lead until a kill by Zastrow and a block by Zastrow and Dupont tied the score at 21-21. A ball-handling error by the Bears gave CLU a set-point opportunity at 24-22, but a kill by junior Jackie Nelligan made it 24-23. A serving error by Washington U. ended the set and tied the match at one set apiece. The Regals got more aggressive with their serving in the third set to force the Bears out of system, including three aces in the set. Cal Lutheran built an early 6-2 lead and extended it to as much as 22-11 before the Bears made a 4-0 run to get to within 22-15. The Regals went on to win 25-17 in the set to take a 2-1 lead.

In set four, Washington U. came up with four big blocks to jump out to an 8-3 lead and force a CLU timeout. The Regals got as close as 15-12, but kills by Dupont and Zastrow, and an attacking error by CLU made it 18-12 in favor of the Bears. A serving error and an attacking error by Cal Lutheran extended the Bears' lead to 22-15, but back-to-back blocks and a kill cut the deficit to 22-18. After a timeout by the Bears, Nelligan hammered home a kill for the side-out. The Regals again got to within three (23-20), but Udenze put away back-to-back kills to seal the 25-20 win and force a fifth set.

The teams traded leads three times in the first 11 points of the fifth set. A kill by sophomore Amanda Palucki tied the score at 6-6. After a setting error by the Regals, Sheredy served an ace to give the Bears an 8-6 lead as the teams switched sides. Washington U. maintained the lead until three straight points by CLU gave the Regals an 11-10 advantage. A kill by Udenze tied the score again at 11-11. After the Regals sent an attack long, Sheredy hit a sharp-angle shot that landed in to put the Bears ahead 13-11. Cal Lutheran tied the score after a kill and an error by the Bears, but Dupont put away her 11th kill of the match to give Washington U. a match-point opportunity. Cal Lutheran got three straight kills to finish the match with a 16-14 victory in set five. 

Washington U. hit .177 (57-26-175) in the match, slightly better than Cal Lutheran's .167 (60-28-192) attack percentage. Both teams had five aces, and the Bears out-blocked the Regals 11-6. Udenze and Zastrow finished with 12 kills each, while Dupont had 11 kills, two aces and a season-high nine blocks. Nelligan added nine kills without an error while hitting at a .409 clip. Junior Cassie Wang posted a double-double with 28 assists and 10 digs, while Senior Lindsay Juriga tallied 17 assists and five digs. Sophomore Kalehua Katagiri topped the 20-dig mark for the third time this season, finishing with 23, while Sheredy (15) and senior Lauren Yung (14) also had double-digit digs.

#10 Washington U. 3, #1 Calvin 1

In the opening set, Calvin took an early 7-4 lead on an ace serve, but a pair of kills by Palucki and a ball-handling error by the Knights pulled the Bears to within 8-7. A kill by Dupont off a quick set from Wang tied the score at 11-11, and Zastrow gave the Bears the lead with a kill off the block. After a serving error by the Bears tied the score at 12-12, Calvin committed a setting error and Palucki and Nelligan teamed up for a block to make it 14-12. The Knights got a side-out to get to within 14-13, but a solo block by Nelligan and an ace serve by Sheredy extended the Bears' lead to 16-13 and forced a timeout by Calvin. The Knights scored four of the next five points to tie it at 17-17, and the teams traded points to a 21-21 tie. After a timeout by the Bears, Palucki came through with a kill and Sheredy got another ace to make it 23-21. Palucki got a kill off the block to give the Bears a set-point opportunity at 24-22, but the Knights tied it at 24-24. After the Bears' second timeout, Calvin served it into the net and on set-point, Wang came up with a huge dig to keep the ball in play before a Calvin attacking error gave Washington U. the 26-24 win in the opening set.

Washington U. pushed the tempo in the second set, and three kills by Dupont and an ace by Wang gave the Bears an early 6-2 lead. The Knights got a side-out after a timeout, but Washington U. answered with a 5-0 run to extend its lead to 11-3. The Knights pulled to within 13-7, but Palucki tooled the block for a kill to give the Bears a side-out. Another kill by Palucki, followed by a kill by Nelligan and a block by the two, pushed the Bears' lead to 17-7. Calvin was unable to get closer than eight the remainder of the set as Washington U. went on to win 25-15 and take a 2-0 lead in the match.

In set three, the Bears scored five straight points to take a 5-3 lead, only to have Calvin battle back to regain the lead at 10-9. A kill down the line by Udenze tied the score, but Calvin went on a 9-3 run to make the score 19-13 in favor of the Knights. The Bears cut the deficit to three after another kill down the line by Udenze and a kill off the block by Zastrow made it 22-19. After a side-out by Calvin, Sheredy hit a kill off the top of the block and Zastrow and Nelligan teamed up for a block to make it 23-21. An attack by the Bears went just wide and Calvin followed with a kill to take the third set 25-21 and force a fourth set.

The Bears got off to a slow start offensively in set four, and didn't record their first kill of the set until a shot by Sheredy made the score 6-5 in favor of Calvin. Juriga followed with an ace to tie the score, and the teams traded points to a 13-13 tie. Calvin went on a 4-1 run to take a 17-14 lead, but missed the serve after a Washington U. timeout. With the Knights leading 19-16, Zastrow and Dupont got a block, and Sheredy and Nelligan followed with another block, before Sheredy notched back-to-back kills to give the Bears the lead at 20-19. Calvin regained the lead at 21-20 after Washington U.'s fifth serving error of the set and a block. Sheredy found the back corner with a cross-court shot and the teams traded points to a 23-23 tie. The Knights got a set-point opportunity at 24-23, but Dupont came through with a kill to tie the score. Another kill by the Knights gave them set-point again at 25-24. It looked like Calvin would win the set on an ace serve, but the Bears were able to keep the ball in play and Zastrow sent it across the net only to have the Knights commit an error to knot the score again at 25-25. Dupont and Zastrow got a block on the next point to give the Bears their first match-point opportunity. After taking a timeout, the Knights got a kill to tie the score for the 18th time in the set. Sheredy slashed a kill off the block and along the net, and Nelligan put the ball down on match-point to give the Bears the 28-26 win and seal the match victory.

Washington U. finished the match hitting .259 (56-18-147) as a team, compared with .205 (51-20-151) for Calvin. The Bears were hampered in the match by 13 service errors, but recorded six aces and 11 team blocks. Four players finished with double-digit kills for Washington U. Zastrow tallied 11 kills, five assists, five digs and a career-high five blocks. Sheredy had a double-double with 11 kills and 12 digs, while Udenze just missed the first double-double of her career with 11 kills and nine digs. Dupont added 10 kills, while Palucki tallied eight kills and three blocks. Nelligan finished the day without a hitting error, finishing with five kills on 11 swings, while also recording a season-high eight blocks. Wang posted her third straight double-double with team-highs of 27 assists and 17 digs. Juriga added 16 assists, and Katagiri (12 digs, five assists) and Yung (10 digs) each finished with double-digit digs as well.

Bear Notebook: Washington U. leads the all-time series against Cal Lutheran 2-1 … The Bears lead the all-time series against Calvin 8-1 …  WUSTL is now 2-1 against ranked teams this season … The Bears are 2-1 this season when playing five-set matches, and 3-0 in four-set matches.