No. 18 WashU Stumbles in Top-25 Showdown with No. 10 CMU

Photo by Tim Farrell
Photo by Tim Farrell

Cleveland, Ohio, Oct. 1, 2017 – The No. 18-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team dropped a four-set match to No. 10 Carnegie Mellon University Sunday afternoon on the Veale Courts in Cleveland for its first loss within University Athletic Association (UAA) play.

WashU fell to 10-6 overall and 2-1 in conference action while Carnegie Mellon improved to 18-1 on the year and 2-1 within the UAA. The Bears are 2-2 against American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Top-25 teams. 

The Tartans outhit the Bears .307-to-.176 despite the Bears advantage in digs (79-69). Junior Lauren Martin finished with a season-high .429 hitting percentage which led the match as she concluded the match with 10 kills in 21 attempts.

WashU dropped the tightly contested opening set 25-23 before evening the match at one game apiece with a second set 25-19 victory. However, the Tartans defeated WashU in the third and fourth sets 25-19 and 25-16.

Freshman Tricia Brown finished with a team-high 12 kills for WashU, as she exceeded double figures in kills for the fifth straight contest. The Bears attack was led by a pair of freshmen in Kirby Knapp (26 assists) and Alison Almgren-Bell (17 assists).

Defensively WashU had three individuals reach double figures in digs as sophomore Zoe Baxter led the Bears with 19 to extend her double digit dig streak to 29 straight matches. Senior Lauren Fournier (15) and Almgren-Bell (10) were the other two individuals to reach double figures in digs.

The opening set was tightly contested as WashU built an early 9-4 lead but the Tartans battled back. In total the set included five lead changes with Carnegie Mellon grabbing the set win 25-23.

WashU finished with its best hitting percentage of the afternoon during the second set, totaling 13 kills in 36 attempts with two errors for a .306 hitting percentage. The Bears utilized the opening service of Knapp to grab the lead. She had three consecutive service aces to push the Bears ahead 4-0. The Red & Green took the second set 25-19.

The Bears worked to a 16-12 lead in the third set but Carnegie Mellon went on an 11-2 run and claimed the set on a kill from Sarah Jurgens, 25-19.

A 4-3 lead in the fourth set would be the last advantage the Bears held. The Tartans used a 10-1 run to push ahead before clinching the set 25-16 and the match 3-1.

After four weeks on the road WashU will return home for the Active Ankle Invitational on Friday, Oct. 6 against Fontbonne University and Webster University. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.