No. 7 Volleyball Tops Rochester, No. 3 Emory at UAA Round Robin

No. 7 Volleyball Tops Rochester, No. 3 Emory at UAA Round Robin

Chicago, Ill., Oct. 18, 2014 – The No. 7-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team swept the University of Rochester 25-17, 25-21, 25-15, and edged No. 3 Emory University 25-19, 21-25, 25-14, 22-25, 15-13 in a five-set thriller at the second University Athletic Association (UAA) Round Robin Saturday at the University of Chicago.

Washington U. improved to 25-4 overall and 4-1 in the UAA with the two wins. The Bears are tied atop the conference standings with Emory (25-3, 4-1 UAA) and Carnegie Mellon University (20-4, 4-1 UAA). Washington University concludes its regular-season UAA matches by taking on Case Western Reserve University (14-7, 3-2 UAA) at Noon Sunday, followed by a 2 p.m. match against Carnegie Mellon. 

#7 Washington U. 3, Rochester 0

Rochester gained an 11-9 lead early in the first set against Washington U., but the Bears went on a 6-1 run to take a 15-12 lead. After the Yellowjackets cut the lead to 16-14, junior Jackie Nelligan got back-to-back kills on quick sets to spark a 4-0 run for the Bears. An attacking error by Washington U. brought Rochester to within 21-17, but the Yellowjackets committed an attacking error to give the Bears a side-out and sophomore Kalehua Katagiri dropped an ace serve in on the sideline to make it 23-17. Back-to-back attacks out of bounds by the Yellowjackets gave Washington U. the 25-17 win in the opening set.

In the second set, Washington U. built a 14-7 lead behind three kills by junior Nkiru Udenze and two each by junior Allison Zastrow, sophomore Amanda Palucki, sophomore Caroline Dupont and Nelligan. The Yellowjackets answered with an 8-1 run to turn the seven-point deficit into a 15-15 tie. A kill by Dupont gave the Bears the lead back at 16-15, but Rochester won four of the next five points to take a 19-17 lead. Four straight attacking errors by the Yellowjackets made it 21-19 in favor of the Bears. Rochester cut the lead to one, but kills by Nelligan and Dupont gave Washington U. a 23-20 advantage. After an attacking error by the Bears, Palucki tooled the block for a kill and Udenze finished the set with a kill to give the Bears the 25-21 win.

The Bears and Yellowjackets played evenly to start the third set, with Washington U. grabbing a 7-6 lead. A serve by the Yellowjackets sailed long to give Washington U. a side-out and Palucki hammered back-to-back kills to make it 10-6 in favor of Washington U. After a Rochester timeout, Udenze came up with a solo block as the Bears continued an 8-1 run that stretched their lead to 15-7. The Yellowjackets got to within six, but Washington U. maintained the lead and finished the match with a 25-15 win in set three.

Washington U. hit .255 (40-14-102) in the match, while Rochester finished with a .034 (26-22-116) attack percentage. Udenze and Dupont tallied eight kills each to lead the Bears, while Nelligan and Zastrow finished with seven kills apiece. Zastrow (.462), Dupont (.357), Nelligan (.353) and Palucki (.308) each hit above .300 for the Bears in the win. Katagiri led the Bears defensively with 15 digs, while senior Lauren Yung tallied 10. Senior Lindsay Juriga recorded 18 assists and nine digs, while junior Cassie Wang had 12 assists and six digs in two sets. 

#7 Washington U. 3, #3 Emory 2

After splitting the first four sets with Emory, Washington U. played its best in the fifth set to seal the win. The Bears used an early 4-0 run that included kills by Zastrow, sophomore Alex Sheredy and Palucki to gain a 6-4 advantage, only to have Emory make its own 4-0 run to take an 8-6 lead as the teams switched sides. After a timeout by the Bears, Nelligan tooled the block for a kill and Sheredy served an ace to tie the score at 8-8. Emory won a joust at the net and followed with an ace to regain the lead, 10-8. An attack by the Eagles landed wide of the sideline, and Palucki and Dupont teamed up for a huge block on the outside to tie the score at 10-10. Palucki then got a kill off an overpass by Emory to give the Bears an 11-10 lead. After an Emory timeout, Udenze and Dupont came up with another crucial block for the Bears to give them a two-point lead. The teams traded points and Dupont got a kill to give the Bears a match-point opportunity at 14-12. A serving error by Washington U. made it 14-13, but Dupont tipped the ball for a kill to finish the match with a 15-13 win for the Bears.

The Bears got off to a strong start in the match, building an 11-3 lead in the first set on a 9-1 run. Emory cut the lead t o13-11 with an 8-2 run, but a kill by Nelligan and an attack out of bounds by the Eagles made it 15-11 in favor of the Bears. After Emory pulled to within 18-14, a serving error by the Eagles gave Washington U. a side-out. Dupont followed with an ace, and kills by Zastrow and Nelligan made it 22-14 in favor of Washington U. Back-to-back kills by Sheredy gave the Bears set-point at 24-16. After three straight points by the Eagles, Palucki and Nelligan teamed up for a block to finish the set as Washington U. won 25-19.

After the teams played to a 7-7 tie in the second set, Nelligan smashed a kill that landed inside Emory's three-meter line, and followed with another kill to give Washington U. a 9-7 lead. The Eagles turned up the serving intensity to make a 9-1 run that included three ace serves as they took a 16-10 lead. The Bears chipped away at the lead and a kill by Nelligan off an overpass by Emory brought Washington U. to within 22-20. The Eagles won three of the last four points of the set to win 25-21 and even the match at one set each.

Washington U. hit .323 (16-6-31) and limited Emory to .125 (8-4-32) attacking as the Bears dominated the third set. After back-to-back attacking errors by the Bears made the score 15-12 in favor of Washington U., the Bears finished the set with a 10-2 run to cruise to the 25-14 win. A roll shot by Sheredy was the first of five straight points for the Bears. After a quick kill by Nelligan, Dupont dropped an ace in front of Emory's defense, and Zastrow got back-to-back kills as the Bears extended the lead to 20-12. After the teams traded the next three points, a serve into the net by Emory gave the Bears a 22-14 lead. Nelligan got another kill on a quick set and teamed up with Palucki for a pair of blocks to finish the set for the Bears.

In the fourth set, a 6-0 run by Emory gave the Eagles a 13-7 lead that they did not relinquish. An attacking error by Emory brought Washington U. to within 21-19, but Emory got back-to-back kills to extend the lead back to four. A serve by the Eagles sailed long and the Emory setter was whistled for a ball-handling error to again bring Washington U. to within two at 23-21. After a sharp kill by Emory, Dupont got a kill on a tip to make it 24-22, but the Eagles held on to win 25-22 and force a fifth set.

Washington U. finished with a .234 (65-26-167) hitting percentage in the match, compared with .190 (54-21-174) attacking for Emory. In the decisive fifth set, the Bears hit .389 (10-3-18), while limiting Emory to .091 (6-4-22) attacking in the set. Washington U. also finished with 84 digs in the match, while Emory had 66. The Eagles committed 11 serving errors, but out-blocked the Bears 12-7.

Nelligan led four Bears in double-digit kills with 14 kills and four blocks, while hitting .480 (14-2-25) in the match. Dupont added 13 kills, two aces and two blocks, while hitting .360. Sheredy posted her fifth double-double of the season with 11 kills and 15 digs, while also tallying two aces. Zastrow finished with 11 kills and seven digs, while hitting .318 (11-4-22), and Palucki matched her season-highs with nine kills and four blocks. Wang registered her 20th career double-double with 32 assists and 11 digs, while Juriga added 21 assists and five digs. Katagiri tallied 27 digs to lead the Bears defensively, including 15 digs in the first two sets, while Yung added 12 digs.

Bear Notebook:  Washington U. leads the all-time series against Rochester 48-1, including winning the last 46 matches … The Bears are 48-9 all-time against Emory, including a 42-8 mark in conference matches … The Bears' win ended a 13-match winning streak for Emory … Washington U. improved to 7-2 against ranked teams this season with the win over Emory … The Bears are 4-1 in five-set matches this season … Emory's Leah Jacobs entered the weekend second in the UAA averaging 3.95 kills per set, and the Bears limited her to just eight kills and a .047 attack percentage … Katagiri's 27 digs against Emory was her 10th 20-plus dig performance of the season and 20th of her career.