St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 4, 2015 – The No. 9-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team earned a pair of sweeps over Rhodes College and University of Dallas at the ASICS Invite Friday evening at the WU Field House.
With the win over Rhodes, head coach Vanessa Walby picked up her 200th career coaching victory. WashU improved to 3-0 on the season, and returns to action with three more matches at the ASICS Invite Saturday. The Bears face Knox College at 9:30 a.m., followed by matches against Hanover College at 11:30 and University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh at 3:30 p.m.
WashU def. Rhodes: 25-10, 30-28, 25-17
The Bears got off to a hot start against Rhodes, scoring the first eight points of the match, including back-to-back aces by senior Allison Zastrow. WashU continued to dominate offensively, cruising to a 25-10 win in set one. The Bears were hampered seven service errors in the second set, and Rhodes used back-to-back blocks to take a 13-11 lead. After a timeout by WashU, junior Amanda Palucki hit a cross-court shot, then teamed up with junior Caroline Dupont for a block. Senior Jackie Nelligan served an ace that rolled off the top of the net to give the Bears a 14-13 lead.
The Lynx regained the lead and got a set-point opportunity at 24-23, but a kill by senior Nkiru Udenze and a solo block by Zastrow gave WashU the 25-24 advantage. Rhodes battled through four set-point opportunities for WashU before Palucki got a tip to fall and Dupont put down an overpass to give the Bears the 30-28 win. Rhodes gained the early lead in set three, but Dupont got a kill on a tip and freshman Natalie Stephanus served eight straight points that included two kills and two blocks by Dupont as the Bears' built a 13-6 lead. Three straight attacking errors by WashU brought Rhodes to within 19-15, but the Bears scored the next four points before finishing with the 25-17 win in the third set.
WashU hit .366 as a team (45-11-93), including a blistering .565 (14-1-23) in the first set. Dupont had a team-high 11 kills on .625 hitting, while Nelligan finished with nine kills and Palucki added eight. Zastrow finished with 32 assists and seven digs, and Udenze and junior Rexi Sheredy each had a team-high nine digs.
WashU def. Dallas: 25-15, 25-13, 25-15
WashU and Dallas played evenly to start the first set, but a setter dump by Zastrow sparked a 4-0 run that gave WashU a 10-7 lead. After taking a timeout, Dallas scored the next two points to pull to within 10-9, but Nelligan hammered a kill down the link, then teamed with Palucki for a block to extend the lead to 12-9. After an ace by the Crusaders cut WashU's lead to 14-12, the Bears answered with a 9-1 run to build a 23-13 advantage on a block by Dupont and Zastrow, before finishing with the 25-15 win.
The two teams played to a 7-7 tie to start the second set, before a block by Dupont and Zastrow gave the Bears a side-out. Dupont then served 11 straight points, including a pair of aces and four kills by Sheredy, to give WashU a 19-7 lead. A block by freshman Julianne Malek and Palucki gave the Bears their largest lead of the set at 22-9, before winning set two 25-13. WashU jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the third set and pushed the advantage to 12-5 on a kill by Nelligan. Dallas got to within three at 12-9, but the Bears pulled away to win 25-15 and sweep the match.
WashU hit .327 (44-11-101) in the match, while limiting Dallas to -.021 attacking (19-21-95). The Bears also had a season-high 12 blocks. Nelligan led the offensive attack with 12 kills, while hitting .458 (12-1-24). Udenze just missed out on the first double-double of her career with nine kills and a career-high 15 digs. Zastrow added 34 assists, five kills and four digs. Seven different players had blocks in the match, including four each for Palucki and Malek.
Bear Notebook: WashU improved to 9-0 all-time against Rhodes and 2-0 against Dallas … The Bears improved to 17-2 at the WU Field House in the past two seasons under Walby.