St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 29, 2015 – The third-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team earned a 25-18, 25-13, 25-17 win over Webster University on Senior Night at the WU Field House Thursday.
Prior to the match, WashU honored its four seniors – Anna Bryniarski, Jackie Nelligan, Nkiru Udenze and Allison Zastrow – as they played their final regular-season home match. With the win over Webster, the Class of 2016 has helped WashU compile a 122-20 overall record in their four seasons.
The Bears overcame a slow start to the match, as Webster jumped out to a 7-2 lead to force a quick WashU timeout in the opening set. The Bears chipped away at the lead and an ace by junior Caroline Dupont tied the score at 11-11. The teams traded points until a kill by Dupont and an ace serve by Nelligan made it 18-15 in favor of the Bears. After an attacking error by WashU, Dupont got another kill then teamed up with Zastrow for back-to-back blocks to push WashU's lead to 21-16. Dupont's sixth kill of the set gave the Bears set-point and an attack by Webster sailed long as WaashU won 25-18 in set one.
After a kill by Webster tied set two at 4-4, WashU went on a 7-2 run that included two more kills by Dupont to take an 11-6 lead. A serving error by the Bears gave the Gorloks a side-out, but junior Rexi Sheredy and Nelligan got two kills each and teamed up together for a block as WashU went on a 5-0 run to extend the lead to 16-7. The closest Webster got the remainder of the match was eight points, and a kill by Udenze and an error by Webster finished the set with a 25-13 win for WashU.
Webster jumped on top in the early going of set three, and a serving error by WashU gave the Gorloks a 6-3 lead. Dupont got a kill and freshman Natalie Stephanus served the next five points for the Bears as WashU turned the deficit into a 9-6 advantage. Webster pulled to within one at 11-10 with a kill, but Zastrow answered with a kill to spark a 7-1 run as the Bears built an 18-11 lead. A kill by junior Amanda Palucki made it 23-13 in favor of the Bears, but Webster won four straight points before kills by Udenze and freshman Ifeoma Ufondu finished the match with the 25-17 win.
WashU hit .330 as a team in the match, while limiting Webster to .021 attacking. Palucki and Udenze led a balanced offensive attack for WashU with 10 kills each. Palucki also had three blocks, while Udenze had seven digs. Dupont hit .667 with nine kills on 12 attacks. Nelligan finished with six kills and five blocks, and Sheredy tallied six kills and seven digs. Zastrow recorded her 15th double-double of the season with 38 assists and a team-high 10 digs. Sophomore Lauren Fournier added nine digs.
WashU improved to 29-2 overall with the win, while Webster dropped to 14-16. The Bears return to action at the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship, which will be hosted by the University of Rochester Friday-Saturday, Nov. 6-7. As the No. 2 seed in the tournament, the Bears will take on seventh-seeded New York University at Noon (ET) Friday in the quarterfinal round.
Bear Notebook: WashU is 24-0 all-time against Webster … The Bears improved to 12-0 at home this season … Nelligan now has 1,074 career kills, moving past Lisa Becker (1989-92) for 19th on WashU's all-time leaderboard.