Waltham, Mass., Oct. 15, 2016 – Washington University in St. Louis volleyball swept New York University 3-0 before falling in a tightly contested University Athletic Assocition (UAA) matchup versus No. 5-ranked Emory University 3-1 on Sunday afternoon in the Red Auerbach Arena of host Brandeis University's campus.
WashU (15-8 Overall, 5-2 UAA) overpowered NYU (14-10 Overall, 1-6 UAA), hitting .337 compared to the Violets .089 rate. Following the Bears time between matches, WashU came out firing in the first set against Emory (21-4 Overall, 6-1 UAA) converting 17 kills in 33 attempts. The Eagles responded however to win the next three sets to close out UAA round robin play at Brandeis.
Match 1: WashU 3 – NYU 0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-17)
Three Bears eclipsed .400 hitting percentages with more than 10 attempts. Rexi Sheredy led the group with 14 kills and the top percentage of .440, while Julianne Malek (.438) and Amanda Palucki's (.417) success rate was not far behind.
WashU cruised to an early 7-1 lead but the Violets rallied to even things up at 13-all until a Sheredy kill and back-to-back aces put the Bears back in control with a 16-13 lead. Caroline Dupont finished the set with a kill assisted by Stile.
The Bears trailed by 8-6 during the second set until once again Sheredy righted the ship with multiple kills to build a solid lead. WashU closed the match with three consecutive points, two kills by Ifeoma Ufondu prior to an ace from Natalie Stephanus.
Sheredy and Dupont helped the Bears to a 13-3 lead at the service line. WashU's lead was never challenged and Malek finished the set with a kill on a pass from Zhang.
Defensively Sheredy led the Bears with 13 digs with Malek totaling two solo blocks.
Match 2: Emory 3 – WashU 1 (25-23, 16-25, 23-25, 20-25)
The Bears and Eagles nearly played to a stalemate in the first set, but WashU took set one avoiding extra points on kills from Ufondu and Malek. Dupont helped the Bears build a 7-1 lead as WashU scored five straight points with her at the line, but the Eagles slowly chipped away at the lead until Malek ended it with an emphatic strike.
The Eagles dominated the second set. The score was last tied following three errors from Emory to even the score 6-6. However, the Eagles regained their composure and scored 17 of the next 27 points.
Kills from Ufondu, Dupont, Malek and Sheredy helped lead the Bears to an early 9-6 advantage. The Eagles responded with a four point run to move ahead of the Bears. The two teams traded single points down the stretch until the third set was tied at 23-all after Malek's kill. Emory's Sarah Maher ended the set with a kill following a Bears attacking error.
During the fourth set Emory controlled the tempo early on, building an 11-1 lead. The 10-point deficit proved to far to overcome but the Bears put forth a valiant effort. Multiple four point runs by the Bears closed the gap to as close as 22-19, but the Eagles scored consecutive points. Palucki put the Bears back on the service line with a kill on a well placed set from Stile but Emory's Kathryn Trinka ended things with a well placed hit.
Dupont led the team with a season-high 17 kills and .406 hitting percentage. Sheredy and Ufondu added 10 kills apiece too. Stile paced the attack with 41 of the teams 45 assists.
Defensively the Bears were led by Zoe Baxter's 24 digs and Malek's six blocks.
WashU returns home for the next two weekends including the Active Ankle Invite which features its senior day match versus No. 9 Texas-Dallas on Friday Oct. 21 at approximately 8 p.m. The Bears will host Dubuque prior to its match versus Texas-Dallas. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashuBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.