No. 21 WashU Volleyball Returns Home for Active Ankle Invite

Photo by WUSTL Photos/Danny Reise
Photo by WUSTL Photos/Danny Reise

St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 4, 2017 - The No. 21-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team returns home for the Active Ankle Invitational after a month on the road with matches against Fontbonne University and Webster University on Friday before hosting Thomas More College and Central (Iowa) College Saturday afternoon.

Friday night is Staff and Dig for Pink night, as the Bears will don pink in support and remembrance of those affected by breast cancer. Kid's day will take place during Saturday afternoon's matches.

Download the complete WashU game notes by clicking HERE (PDF).

THIS WEEK'S COMPETITION - WashU (10-6 Overall, 2-1 UAA) enters the week as the No. 21 ranked team in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III poll. The Bears return home for their first action since Sept. 6. WashU will face Fontbonne University (4-10), Webster University (12-4), Thomas More College (16-4) and Central (Iowa) College (8-11).

• LAST WEEK - WashU began University Athletic Association (UAA) play last weekend, concluding the Round Robin #1 with a 2-1 record after defeating New York and Case Western before falling to No. 10 Carnegie Mellon in four sets. No. 16 Chicago was the lone team to emerge from the UAA Round Robin #1 unscathed with a 3-0 record.

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE - WashU's strength of schedule determined by opponent's cumulative record ranks 24th in all of Division III, as the Bears past and future opponents possess a won loss percentage of 0.635.

EXTREMELY EFFICIENT - Junior Julianne Malek ranks fourth in NCAA Division III in hitting percentage, with a success rate of .416. On the season, she has 171 kills with 32 errors in 334 attempts. Junior Ifeoma Ufondu leads the team with 191 kills, while Malek leads the Bears in service aces with 24.

• DOUBLE DIGIT DIGS - Sophomore Zoe Baxter has reached or exceeded 10 digs in 29 straight matches dating back to 2016. The Los Angeles, Calif.-native leads the Bears with 262 digs in 65 sets played as the libero.

• PACING THE ATTACK - The Bears have featured three setters this season in sophomore Chloe Stile and freshmen Kirby Knapp and Alison Almgren-Bell. Knapp had an effective afternoon against New York on Sept. 30, assisting on 40 of 68 sets for a conversion rate of .588.

LOADED UAA - The UAA has four teams within the latest AVCA Top-25 poll. Emory leads the way ranking No. 4, while Carnegie Mellon slotted into the 10th as No. 16 Chicago bypassed No. 21 WashU. 

TEAM STATS - WashU as a whole has combined for a hitting percentage of .212 (68th), 12.43 kills per set (68th) and 11.23 assists per set (95th) which all rank within the top-100 of Division III programs.

CATEGORY LEADERS - KILLS: Ifeoma Ufondu (191), Julianne Malek (171)
ASSISTS: Kirby Knapp (311), Alison Almgren-Bell (224), Chloe Stile (12)
ACES: Juliane Malek (24), Natalie Stephanus (16), Alison Almgren-Bell (14)
DIGS: Zoe Baxter (262), Lauren Fournier (113), Natalie Stephanus (94)
BLOCKS: Leila King (43), Ifeoma Ufondu (39), Julianne Malek (39)

CAPTAINS - The 2017 WashU volleyball program is led by three team captains including senior Lauren Fournier and juniors Natalie Stephanus and Ifeoma Ufondu.