No. 5 Bears Defeat Brandeis, Fall to Chicago at UAA Championship

No. 5 Bears Defeat Brandeis, Fall to Chicago at UAA Championship

Pittsburgh, Pa., Nov. 7 2014 – The No. 5-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team earned a 25-9, 25-8, 25-20 win over Brandeis University in the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship quarterfinal, but suffered a 25-22, 25-13, 25-21 loss to the University of Chicago in the semifinal Friday afternoon at Carnegie Mellon University.

Washington U. (32-5) will face host Carnegie Mellon in the third-place match at 10 a.m. (ET) Saturday. The Bears defeated Carnegie Mellon 25-21, 17-25, 25-19, 27-25 at the second UAA Round Robin in Chicago Oct. 19. The Tartans earned a five-set victory over Washington U. in last year's UAA Championship third-place match.

#5 Washington U. 3, Brandeis 0

The Bears hit .322 (42-13-90) as a team and recorded eight ace serves to earn a 25-9, 25-8, 25-20 win over Brandeis in the quarterfinal match. The teams played evenly to open the first set, before a 13-2 run by the Bears gave them a 21-7 lead. Washington U. hit .429 with just two attacking errors in the opening set. The second set was all Washington U. as the Bears built a 17-1 lead behind the serving of seniors Lindsay Juriga and Lauren Yung. The Judges were unable to get closer than 15 the remainder of the set and kills by sophomore Caroline Dupont and junior Allison Zastrow gave the Bears the 25-8 win.

In set three, Washington U. built a 14-4 lead behind a pair of aces by sophomore Alex Sheredy, but Brandeis chipped away at the lead. After a kill by sophomore Emmy Koppe made it 19-11 in favor of the Bears, Brandeis went on a 7-1 run, taking advantage of five errors by Washington U. to get to within 19-18. A solo block by Sheredy stopped the run and back-to-back kills by junior Nkiru Udenze gave the Bears the 25-20 win to finish the match.

Dupont, Udenze and Zastrow finished with nine kills each, while Sheredy tallied seven and sophomore Amanda Palucki added six. Juriga totaled 22 assists, six digs and two aces, while junior Cassie Wang finished with 10 assists. Sophomore Kalehua Katagiri led the Bears defensively with eight digs, while sophomore Corey Salzer added seven. 

Chicago 3, #5 Washington U. 0

Chicago took an early lead in the first set, but Zastrow served the Bears to an 8-3 advantage. The Maroons cut the deficit to two, before Washington U. stretched its lead back to five at 13-8 after a tip by Dupont. Chicago answered with a 5-0 run, including a pair of hitting errors by the Bears, to tie the score at 13-13. After ties at 14 and 15, Zastrow got a tip to fall for a kill and junior Jackie Nelligan hammered a kill off an overpass by Chicago. An ace by Zastrow and another kill by Nelligan gave the Bears a 19-15 advantage, but back-to-back attacking errors and a kill by Chicago brought the Maroons to within 19-18. A block by Nelligan and Palucki made it 20-18 in favor of the Bears, but Chicago used a 4-1 run to take its first lead since the 3-2 mark at 22-21. Palucki terminated a kill down the line to tie it again at 22-22, but Chicago tooled the Bears' blocks for a pair of kills and took advantage of an attacking error to win the set 25-22.

An early 6-0 run by Chicago that included a pair of aces helped the Maroons gain a 7-2 advantage in the second set. Chicago stretched its lead to 10 at 19-9 after two more aces and an attack out of bounds by Washington U. The Bears were unable to get closer than eight the remainder of the set as Chicago won 25-13 to take a 2-0 lead in the match.

Chicago again gained an early 7-2 lead in the third set, and maintained the advantage to a 12-7 lead before a kill by Dupont sparked a 6-0 run by the Bears. A block by Udenze and Dupont, and kills by Dupont and Zastrow made it 12-11, before back-to-back aces by Wang gave the Bears their first lead at 13-12. The teams traded points to a 15-15 tie, before Chicago scored five of the next seven points to make it 20-17. Palucki got a kill off the block, and Udenze hit back-to-back kills to tie the score again at 20-20, but an attack into the net by the Bears and another ace for Chicago gave the Maroons a 22-20 lead. Chicago tacked on another point before Palucki got a kill to make it 23-21, but a kill by the Maroons and an attack out of bounds by Washington U. gave Chicago the 25-21 win.

Washington U. hit .185 (42-20-119) in the match, while Chicago finished with a .377 (44-9-112) attack percentage. The Maroons also keyed on Washington U.'s serve receive to tally eight aces in the match. Udenze had a team-high nine kills and nine digs for the Bears. Zastrow added eight kills, 10 assists and eight digs, while Dupont had eight kills and five digs. Juriga finished with 16 assists, and Katagiri tallied nine digs.

Bear Notebook:  The Bears are 115-9 all-time in the UAA Championship tournament … Washington U. leads the all-time series against Brandeis 39-0 … The Bears lead the all-time series against Chicago 35-4, and two of Washington U.'s five losses this season have come against the Maroons … Katagiri passed Kelly Pang's 2010 dig total (583) for fifth on the Bears' all-time single-season list.