St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 31, 2014 – The No. 5-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team celebrated Senior Night and Dig for Pink night at the WU Field House by earning sweeps of Westminster College (Mo.) (25-14, 25-13, 25-20) and Transylvania University (25-19, 25-13, 25-13) Friday evening.
Washington U. improved to 29-4 with the two wins. The Bears conclude their regular-season schedule with two more matches on the second day of the Bears Invite Saturday. Washington U. takes on Hendrix College at 10 a.m., followed by a 2:30 p.m. match against No. 19 Millikin University. Hendrix defeated Millikin in five sets in the other match of the tournament Friday.
#5 Washington U. 3, Westminster 0
Washington U. led throughout the opening set, building a 12-5 lead after a kill by sophomore Caroline Dupont. The Blue Jays answered with four straight points to pull to within 12-9. The Bears used a 5-1 run to extend their lead to 18-11 and force Westminster to call its second timeout. The teams traded points after the timeout, but a kill by junior Jackie Nelligan sparked a 5-0 run for the Bears that also included a pair of kills by junior Nkiru Udenze to make it 24-13. After a side-out by Westminster, sophomore Amanda Palucki rolled a kill along the net to give the Bears the 25-14 win in set one.
Westminster used a 4-0 run early in the second set to take a 10-8 lead. The Blue Jays maintained the two-point advantage to 12-10. Dupont got a solo block, then served five straight points for the Bears to give them a 16-12 lead. The Blue Jays got a side-out, but Washington U. scored the final nine points of the set to win 25-13. The Bears hit .286 (12-4-28) in the second set, while Westminster was limited to -.067 attacking (6-8-30) in the set.
The teams played evenly through the first half of set three, before a 4-0 run by Westminster gave the Blue Jays a 15-12 lead. Washington U. took advantage of a pair of serving errors by Westminster to score five of the next six points and regain a 17-16 lead. A serve into the net by the Bears tied the score again, but Palucki got a kill to give Washington U. the lead for good at 18-17. Sophomore Alex Sheredy tallied the final four kills of the set for the Bears as Washington U. earned a 25-19 win in set three.
Washington U. hit .257 (44-15-113) in the match, while Westminster finished with .019 (23-21-105) attacking. The Bears were led by Sheredy, who finished with 11 kills, including seven kills on 10 swings in the third set. Nelligan, Udenze and Palucki added seven kills each. Junior Allison Zastrow recorded a double-double with 12 assists and 11 digs, while senior Lindsay Juriga added 20 assists and seven digs. Sophomore Kalehua Katagiri posted a team-high 16 digs, and senior Lauren Yung added 10 for her 14th double-digit dig performance of the season.
#5 Washington U. 3, Transylvania 0
Washington U. and Transylvania traded leads in the early going of set one, with the Pioneers grabbing a 13-11 advantage after back-to-back errors by the Bears. A tip by Dupont and a kill by Sheredy off the block tied the score at 13-13, and a solo block by Dupont gave Washington U. the one-point lead. After a side-out by Transylvania, Sheredy got another kill and Nelligan smashed a kill off an overpass to make it 16-14 in favor of the Bears. Following a timeout, Transylvania scored three straight points to regain a 17-16 lead. Kills by Zastrow and Sheredy gave the lead back to Washington U., but a side-out by the Pioneers tied it again at 18-18. Sheredy got a kill down the line and Transylvania hit the ball in the net, before a block by Palucki and Nelligan made it 21-18 in favor of Washington U. The Pioneers got a side-out after taking their second timeout, but a kill by Nelligan sparked a 4-0 run that ended with a kill by Udenze to give Washington U. the 25-19 win in set one.
The Bears' attackers were hot in the second set, finishing with a .424 (16-2-33) hitting percentage in the set, including nine kills on 11 attacks by Sheredy. Two kills each by Sheredy and Nelligan helped Washington U. build an early 9-5 lead. A solo block and a kill by Dupont made it 12-7 in favor of the Bears, but Transylvania answered with a 3-0 run to pull to within 12-10. Sheredy got a tip to fall for a kill, but a serve out of bounds by the Bears made the score 16-12 in favor of Washington U. Sheredy got another kill to get the side-out for the Bears Zastrow served the next seven points to make it 24-12 in favor of Washington U. The 8-0 run included four kills by Sheredy and a pair of blocks by Palucki and Nelligan. After an attack by the Bears landed just wide of the sideline, Nelligan got a kill to finish the set with the 25-13 win.
Washington U. built an early 8-3 lead in the third set. After taking a timeout, Transylvania pulled to within 8-5 on back-to-back errors by the Bears. Zastrow got a kill, then served back-to-back aces to extend the Bears' lead to 11-5 and force another timeout by the Pioneers. The teams traded the next four points, before Washington U. made a 5-1 run to pull away. After a serve by the Bears went into the net to make it 18-9, Udenze recorded a kill to spark a 5-0 run, including an ace by Juriga, for Washington U. The Pioneers scored four of the next five points, including battling through a pair of match-point opportunities for Washington U., but a kill by sophomore Emmy Koppe ended the match with a 25-13 win for the Bears.
Washington U. hit .289 (43-10-114) in the match, while limiting Transylvania to a .000 (26-26-120) hitting percentage. The Bears had an 8-1 advantage in blocks. Sheredy tallied 17 kills and 10 digs for her seventh double-double of the season, while hitting .536 (17-2-28). Nelligan added seven kills and four blocks, while Palucki also had four blocks. Juriga had a team-high 21 assists, while Zastrow added 14 assists and 13 digs. Katagiri led the Bears defensively with 13 digs.
Bear Notebook: Prior to the Transylvania match, Washington U. honored Juriga and Yung for Senior Night … It was also the Bears' annual Dig for Pink match, raising funds for the Siteman Cancer Center … The two victories extended Washington U.'s win streak to nine … Washington U. improved to 11-1 at home this season … The Bears lead the all-time series against Westminster 11-0 … It was the first-ever meeting between Washington U. and Transylvania … Katagiri brought her single-season digs total to 555, passing Haleigh Spencer (542) and her own total from last year (547) for ninth on Washington U.'s all-time single-season leaderboard.