No. 20 WashU Clinches Second Seed in UAA with 4-0 Weekend

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

Chicago, Ill., Oct. 15, 2017 – The No. 20-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team rallied to defeat University of Rochester in the third set to capture a 3-0 victory before defeating University Athletic Association (UAA) Round Robin #2 host and No. 13-ranked University of Chicago 3-1 Sunday afternoon.

WashU improved to 18-6 overall and 6-1 in UAA play to secure the second seed in the UAA Championships. No. 10 Carnegie Mellon University earned the first seed by holding on for a 3-2 victory over No. 4 Emory University. WashU improved to 4-2 against American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Top-25 teams this season.

The Bears led in several key categories during both victories. Against Rochester, WashU led in kills (40-34), hitting percentage (.255-.110), assists (33-32) and blocks (6-4). The Bears then led Chicago in kills (61-53), hitting percentage (.324-.196), assists (57-53), aces (9-4), digs (71-69) and blocks (13-4).

Match 1: WashU 3 – Rochester 0 (25-19, 25-23, 26-24)

Junior Julianne Malek and sophomore Hannah Turner provided a formidable tandem in the middle for the Bears against Rochester. Malek led the Bears with 11 kills while Turner finished with a hitting percentage of .444 with nine kills and a single error in 18 attempts.

Sophomore Chloe Stile led the Bears in assists for the third straight match totaling 29 as freshman Tricia Brown led WashU with two service aces. 

Sophomore Zoe Baxter concluded the match with 16 digs, her third straight match totaling that figure. Sophomore Leila King added five blocks including two solo.

Rochester opened the match on a 6-1 run resulting in a WashU timeout during the first set. The Bears responded with a 7-2 run and tied the set up at 8-all on a solo block from King. The score was again tied at 14-all before the Bears closed out the action on an 11-5 run. Freshman Jessica Almgren-Bell scored the second to last point with an ace before an attacking error from Rochester ended the set.

The Bears once again trailed in the second set after a kill from the Yellowjackets made the score 17-14. WashU followed the kill with four straight points including a kill by Stile to take the lead, but the score remained tight and Rochester regained the lead at 23-21. Malek capped off a 4-0 run with an ace and an assist to Turner's set clinching kill as the Bears overtook Rochester's lead and won 25-23. 

During the third set, Rochester held a four-point advantage at 21-17 before WashU scored the next five points to momentarily take the lead. The Yellowjackets scored three of the next four points to move within a point of clinching its first set, however the Bears responded with the final three points including back-to-back kills by Turner.

WashU claimed the set 26-24 and the match 3-0 for its seventh straight win. The Bears improved to 51-1 all-time against Rochester with its 49th consecutive victory over the Yellowjackets.

Match 2: WashU 3 – Chicago 1 (23-25, 25-20, 25-20, 25-13)

Three Bears exceeded double figures in kills as Malek led the way with 16. King (13) and Ufondu (11) also reached double digits while King posted a match-high .632 hitting percentage with just a single error in 19 attempts.

Stile nearly averaged 13 assists per set as she tallied a season-high 51 assists in addition to five kills in 10 attempts. Turner posted a career-high four service aces to lead the Bears.

Baxter tallied 17 digs, exceeding double figures for the 23rd occasion this season. Almgren-Bell added 13 digs for a new career-high as she reached 10 or more digs in three matches over the weekend.

Malek tied a season-high eight blocks, while tying a career-best with three solo blocks. King also added five block assists.

The first point would give WashU its only lead of the set on a kill by Malek. Chicago scored the next four points and then stretched its lead to eight, 20-12. WashU rallied within a single point at 23-24 but the Maroons clinched the opening set 25-23.

Malek again led the Bears to an early lead, this time in the second set with a solo block. Malek scored four of the Bears five points as WashU worked to a 5-2 lead. Chicago went ahead 18-14 and claimed its first lead of the set with an 8-2 run. Despite the Maroons comeback, WashU reclaimed the lead and evened the match at one set apiece by scoring 11 of the final 13 points. Stile finished with a hand in the final three points with a kill, an ace and an assist in the set clinching kill by Malek.

Chicago pulled even with the Bears twice, including 17-17, but WashU clinched the set with an 8-3 run. The Bears final eight points were all earned including kills by King, Brown, Malek; aces by Baxter, Brown; and blocks by Malek, Brown and Ufondu.

During the fourth set, the Bears scored 12 straight points behind the service of Turner which turned a two-point deficit into a 10-point advantage. Turner totaled three service aces during the run as WashU led 14-4. The Red & Green closed out the set 25-13 on a combo block from Stile and King. The victory sealed WashU's eighth straight victory on the season.

WashU improved to 40-5 all-time in matches against Chicago. The Bears have won two straight matches over the Maroons.

Up next for the Bears is a road match against Webster University on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.