No. 21 Bears Close Out Active Ankle Invite with Perfect Mark

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

St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 7, 2017 – The No. 21-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team finished a perfect 4-0 weekend while hosting the Active Ankle Invitational, defeating Thomas More College in four sets before beating Central College in straight sets Saturday afternoon in the WU Field House. 

The Bears improved to 14-6 on the season, while Thomas More (18-5) went 1-1 on the day and Central dropped multiple matches to fall to 8-14. Sophomore Zoe Baxter's double digit dig streak was extended to 32 matches in the win over Thomas More but concluded in the straight set win over Central.

Baxter was named to the Active Ankle All-Tournament team as well as fellow sophomore, Leila King. On the weekend, Baxter recorded 63 digs while King totaled 35 kills with a .391 hitting percentage.

Match 1: WashU 3 – Thomas More 1 (21-25, 27-25, 25-23, 25-22)

Three Bears reached double figures in kills in freshman Tricia Brown (13) and juniors Ifeoma Ufondu (12) and Julianne Malek (10). Freshman Alison Almgren-Bell dished out 30 assists.

Baxter finished with a match-high 24 digs while Ufondu (12) and Almgren-Bell (10) also reached double figures. Almgren-Bell recorded her third career double-double as she posted 30 assists and 10 digs. King led the Bears with three blocks, including a solo, as WashU recorded seven blocks.

WashU held an early 6-4 lead in the first set but the Saints scored four straight points to move ahead. Thomas More did not relinquish the lead as it won the first set 25-21.

The Bears once again worked their way to an early lead, but Thomas More would not concede defeat. The Saints inched closer to taking the second set on a kill by All-Tournament selection Jenna Mummert that put Thomas More up 24-23. However, the Bears scored four of the next five points to claim the set 27-25.

Thomas More rallied within a single point of WashU in the third set as the Bears and Saints were neck-in-neck. An error from Thomas More gave the Bears a 24-22 edge and two points later Malek clinched the third set with a kill dished out by Almgren-Bell.

The Red & Green found themselves in a deep whole in the fourth set when Thomas More built an 8-1 lead. The Bears utilized an 11-3 run capped off on a kill by Malek to regain the lead. WashU's attack clicked late in the final set scoring six of the final eight points on kills. The Bears captured the set 25-22 and the match 3-1.

Match 2: WashU 3 – Central 0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-10)

King nearly matched the Dutch's output with 12 kills during the match as Central tallied 14 during the three sets combined. Almgren-Bell recorded 22 assists while Malek contributed three service aces. 

King and sophomore Hannah Turner finished with four blocks apiece while no Bear recorded double figure dig totals. Almgren-Bell and Baxter led the match with eight digs each.

WashU built an 8-1 lead behind the service of Malek, who recorded two aces on the run. The Bears continued to extend their lead throughout the set ultimately winning the opener 25-14.

Central grabbed its only lead of the match during the second set by scoring two of the first three points before WashU went on a 13-2 run. The 10-point difference remained true when freshman Jessica Almgren-Bell sealed the set victory with an ace, 25-15.

WashU coasted to a 25-10 third set win while Turner recorded two of the final five points with a kill and solo block that clinched the match.

WashU returns to University Athletic Association (UAA) play next weekend, as the Bears travel to Chicago for Round Robin #2. The Bears will open the Oct. 14 weekend off against No. 3 Emory University at 12:30 p.m. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.