Atlanta, Ga., Sept. 19, 2015 – The No. 6-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team had its 12-match win streak come to an end with a four-set loss to No. 9 California Lutheran University, before sweeping Wheaton College (Ill.) to finish the Emory National Invitational Saturday afternoon.
The Bears are now 13-1 on the season, and return home to host Illinois Wesleyan University at 7 p.m. Thursday at the WU Field House.
No. 9 California Lutheran University def. WashU 25-22, 12-25, 25-15, 25-17
California Lutheran used a 4-1 run late in the first set to take a 23-18 lead, and got its first set-point opportunity at 24-20. Junior Caroline Dupont tooled the block and senior Allison Zastrow got a kill to bring the Bears within 24-22 before the Regals ended the set with a 25-22 win.
The second set was all WashU as the Bears jumped out to a 10-1 lead behind two kills and two aces by junior Rexi Sheredy. The Bears' aggressive serving kept Cal Lutheran off balance and out of system the whole set and WashU cruised to a 25-12 win. The Bears hit .320 (12-4-25) in the set, compared with -.080 (6-8-25) for the Regals.
In the third set, Cal Lutheran used an early 7-2 run to take a 12-7 lead and didn't look back from there. In a set that was nearly the complete opposite of set two, the Regals went on to win 25-15 behind aggressive serving and strong blocking. WashU was limited to -.059 attacking (9-11-34) in the set as Cal Lutheran recorded four blocks. The Regals used an 8-3 run midway through the fourth set to take control. The Bears pulled to within 18-14 on a block by Dupont and Zastrow, but Cal Lutheran finished the match with a 25-17 win.
WashU hit .163 (45-25-123) in the match, while Cal Lutheran finished with a .206 attacking percentage (47-21-126). The Regals also finished with 13 blocks in the match. Dupont led the Bears with 14 kills while hitting .462. She also had a team-high six blocks and five digs. Sheredy and junior Amanda Palucki added eight kills each. Sophomore Lauren Fournier led WashU defensively with 14 digs, and Zastrow tallied 38 assists and six digs.
WashU def. Wheaton College 25-17, 25-10, 27-25
The Bears scored the first four points of the opening set against Wheaton and maintained at least a three-point advantage until a kill for the Thunder made it 15-13. Still holding a two-point lead, WashU went on a 4-0 run, including a pair of aces by Dupont, to take a 20-14 lead before finishing with a 25-17 win. The Bears jumped out to a 14-8 lead in the second set before Wheaton scored three straight points to get to within 14-9. Five straight attacking errors by the Thunder, including a block by Sheredy and senior Jackie Nelligan, helped WashU finish the set with an 11-1 run en route to the 25-10 win.
In set three, the Bears again grabbed the early lead, scoring the first five points of the set. Three straight kills by freshman Ifeoma Ufondu, Sheredy and Dupont extended the lead to 11-4. Wheaton began to chip away and used a 6-1 run to take its first lead of the match at 21-20. A kill for the Thunder made it 23-21, but the Bears answered with three straight kills by Dupont to get a match-point opportunity at 24-23. Wheaton fought off two match-points for WashU before a kill by Dupont found the sideline and Nelligan tipped a kill over the block to give the Bears the 27-25 win.
WashU finished with .280 attacking (44-11-118) in the match, while limiting Wheaton to .079 (29-20-114). Sheredy and Nelligan led the Bears with 10 kills each. Nelligan also added a team-high five blocks. Dupont finished with seven kills and Ufondu added five kills on 10 swings without an error. Zastrow notched her sixth double-double of the season with 33 assists and a team-high 13 digs.
Bear Notebook: WashU is 3-1 against ranked teams this season … The Bears are 2-2 all-time against Cal Lutheran and 9-0 against Wheaton … The first-set loss to Cal Lutheran was just the second time this season the Bears have dropped the opening set … WashU is 5-2 this season in sets that go past 25 points … Nelligan had seven block assists on the day, bringing her career total to 301 and passing Amy Albers (1992-94) for sixth on WashU's all-time leaderboard.