Volleyball sweeps the competition on final day of Baden Invite
St. Louis, Mo. Sept. 3, 2016 – The Washington University in St. Louis Volleyball team found its rhythm Saturday during the second and final day of the Baden Invitational with three consecutive 3-0 victories over Adrian College, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Edgewood College.
The Bears (4-1 Overall) found great openings to attack while also filling the gaps defensively more consistently than the previous night. The Green and Red seemed to improve with each consecutive match, finishing the day with a team hitting percentage of .326 to defeat Edgewood. Sophomore Julianne Malek was named to the 2016 Baden Invite All-Tournament Team.
WashU 3 – Adrian 0 (25-16, 25-14, 25-14)
The Bears dominated a previously unbeaten Adrian with lopsided set victories keyed by a multitude of Bulldog errors. Adrian finished the match with 22 attacking errors and seven more service errors while WashU finished with 15 attacking and five service errors.
Fifteen Bears were able to see some action on the court against the Bulldogs including freshman Lauren Martin, who converted four of five attempts into kills for an .800 percentage.
Malek continued her strong showing from the first WashU matches tying for the team lead in kills with eight to senior Rexi Sheredy.
WashU trailed in only the opening moments of set one, but followed the lead of freshman Chloe Stile at the service line. Stile led the Bears on a seven point swing, helping the team to a 12-6 lead.
Fellow setter, sophomore Savannah Zhang led the team on its next run of four straight points to give the team a 21-12 advantage. Errors filled the court through the end of set one as WashU won 25-16.
In the third and final set, Adrian held a 7-5 lead before libero Natalie Stephanus led the Green and Red back in control. The Bears scored eight straight points with her at the line including multiple kills from Ifeoma Ufondu. WashU took the set 25-14.
Stephanus led the team defensively with 18 digs while Sheredy and Malek each finished with two block assists.
WashU 3 – Rose-Hulman 0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-21)
Sheredy dominated the match versus the Fightin' Engineers. She nearly finished with a double-double, as she led the team with 11 kills and nine digs.
Stile flashed her excellent skills at distributing the ball. The Bears totaled 41 assists, in which Stile tallied 35 herself.
During set one, WashU led for the majority until a Fightin' Engineers kill evened things up at 20-20. Stile passed the ball to Malek in the center for a booming strike that hit the Rose-Hulman libero and ricocheted out of bounds. Stile set the ball to the far side for another strong strike of the ball, this time by Ufondu which put the Bears up 23-20. Three straight errors finished set number one.
After a tie score of 6-all in set two, WashU scored 19 of the next 29 points to take a 2-0 lead in the match. Freshman Shannon Gurley added multiple kills during that stretch.
Despite a 9-3 lead in set three, Rose-Hulman refused to give in and battled back to take a 13-12 lead until senior Amanda Palucki found an open alley to send her attack. WashU and Rose-Hulman traded points and remained even at 15-all but clutch serving down the stretch from Baxter including an ace put the Bears ahead for good and Sheredy closed the match out with a well placed attack for a kill.
Stephanus led the team again with 14 digs as Stile and Baxter also finished with double digit dig totals. Malek and freshman Alex Ahrens added solo blocks.
WashU 3 – Edgewood 0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-17)
In perhaps WashU's most impressive match of the weekend, the Green and Red dominated. The team hit the ball soundly to the tune of a .326 hitting percentage while also taking advantage of 29 Eagle errors. The Bears totaled just seven errors in the match, including just a single one apiece in the final two sets.
Malek led the team with a .692 percentage while Palucki and Ufondu also contributed percentages above 300, as Stile finished with her second straight match of 30 or more assists.
WashU remained unfazed by an Edgewood lead in set one, late into set one with the score 17-16 in favor of the Eagles. Palucki had the hot hand scoring back-to-back points to give the Bears the lead once again. Ufondu sealed game one's victory with a kill.
An early lead in set two set the pace for the Bears as it did not need to score a single point of its own down the stretch because the final nine WashU points came from Edgewood errors.
Midway through set three the score was tied before the Bears relied on its powerful offense to swing the momentum back in its favor. A multitude of kills from Sheredy, Ufondu and Malek closed out the match and the perfect day for WashU.
Malek led the team defensively with two solo blocks while Stephanus added 12 digs to lead the team.
For her efforts, Malek was named to the All-Tournament Team.
2016 Baden Invite All-Tournament Team
Margo Joubran of Adrian College
Keegan Kollias of DePauw University
Elizabeth Evans of Edgewood College
Courtney Crawford of Hanover College
Jory Siebenmorgen of Webster University
Julianne Malek of Washington University in St. Louis