Chicago, Ill., Oct. 14, 2017 – The No. 20-ranked Washington University in St Louis volleyball team opened the University Athletic Association (UAA) Round Robin #2 with multiple victories including a five set thriller over No. 4 Emory University before defeating Brandeis University in straight sets Saturday afternoon.
WashU improved to 16-6 overall, including a 4-1 mark in UAA play after winning its sixth straight match. Emory stands at 18-4 (3-2) and Brandeis at 10-8 (0-5) after Saturday's action.
The Bears are tied with No. 10 Carnegie Mellon University and No. 13 University of Chicago with 4-1 records within the UAA. WashU will face University of Rochester on Sunday, Oct. 15 at noon before matching up with Chicago at 2 p.m.
Match 1: WashU 3 – Emory 2 (25-18, 16-25, 19-25, 25-21, 15-11)
The Bears won each set that they swung at a success rate above .300 over Emory. The Bears posted .444, .303 and .600 hitting percentages during the first, fourth and fifth sets.
Junior Julianne Malek finished with a team leading 14 kills while foregoing any errors in 32 attempts for a .438 hitting percentage. Junior Ifeoma Ufondu also contributed a percentage above .300 with 12 kills and three errors in 23 attempts.
Sophomore Zoe Baxter led the squad with 16 digs while freshman Jessica Almgren-Bell contributed a season-high 11 digs. Malek finished with four block assists while King posted the lone solo block for WashU.
An 8-1 run in the first set, which included two kills apiece by Ufondu and sophomore Abby Selcho, helped WashU to a 10-3 advantage. The Bears continued to pull away from the Eagles as WashU built its largest lead of the set, 20-9, on a kill by Malek. Emory closed the gap but King clinched the set, 25-18, with a successful attack.
WashU took a 4-3 lead on another kill from King in the second set but Emory responded with a 13-3 run. Back-to-back kills from King shortened the gap for WashU to 16-21 but the Eagles scored the final four points for the win.
Emory cruised to an early 6-1 lead in the third set. WashU pulled within three points when Baxter assisted a kill by Brown to make the score 19-22. However, the Eagles took a 2-1 advantage by scoring the final three points to secure the set.
WashU trailed 8-5 in the fourth set before scoring seven straight points which included multiple kills by Brown and an ace by Baxter. Emory pulled within a single point at 22-21 but Malek helped the Bears score the final three points with two kills and a combined block with sophomore Hannah Turner. WashU evened the match at two sets apiece after picking up the fourth, 25-21.
WashU and Emory's attacks were extremely efficient in the fifth set as the Bears posted a .600 mark with 10 kills and one error compared the Emory's .429 percentage. Baxter contributed multiple aces in the set for WashU that pushed the Bears lead to 11-7. Ufondu and Brown totaled three kills apiece in the decisive set, including Ufondu's match clinching kill.
With the victory WashU snapped a two match losing streak to the Eagles. The Bears also clinched the 50th victory in program history over Emory as WashU's all-time record against the Eagles is 50-13.
Match 2: WashU 3 – Brandeis (25-12, 25-21, 25-20)
King led the Bears with 15 kills and a .522 hitting percentage after 23 attempts. Ufondu recorded double figure kill totals with 10 while also posting a .304 hitting percentage. Stile paced the attack with 30 assists.
Defensively the Bears were led by Baxter's 16 digs, as she has recorded double figure dig totals in 21 of 22 matches in 2017. King finished with two solo blocks and three block assists as Turner contributed four assisted blocks.
WashU cruised to a 13-4 lead as Ufondu scored three of the first four points on kills. Turner and Almgren-Bell contributed four service aces in the set as WashU claimed the first set 25-12.
Turner and Ufondu combined for a block to help WashU to an 8-4 second set lead. Despite the Judges pulling within two points, WashU calimed the set 25-21.
Brandeis claimed a 7-4 lead in the third set but the Bears scored nine of the next 10 points. The 9-1 run was capped off on back-to-back plays by King including a solo block and kill. King concluded the set (25-20) and match (3-0) in favor of WashU with her match leading 15th kill.
WashU improved its record to 42-0 all-time against the Judges.
The Bears will continue UAA play on Sunday, Oct. 15 with matches against Rochester and Chicago. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.