No. 12 WashU’s 10 Match Win Streak Halted in Five Setter

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

St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 27, 2017 – The No. 12-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team split the opening night of the Baden Invitational with a 3-0 win over Transylvania University before falling in a five set defeat to DePauw University on Friday in the WU Field House as the Bears honored their lone senior Lauren Fournier before the nightcap.

WashU improved to 20-6 after extending its season long winning streak to 10 matches with the win over Transylvania. The Bears followed the victory by claiming the first two sets against DePauw before the Tigers rallied for the five set win.

Fournier and sophomore Zoe Baxter both exceeded double figures in digs in both matches, as the duo combined for 62 digs. Baxter surpassed the 1,000 dig plateau in the final match of the evening and currently has 1,007.

Match 1: WashU 3 – Transylvania 0 (25-20, 27-25, 25-22)

Junior Julianne Malek (12), sophomore Hannah Turner (9), junior Ifeoma Ufondu (9) and Tricia Brown (8) combined for more than 90 percent of the Bears kills (42). Malek (.450) and Turner (.421) each swung at highly efficient rates as they posted the matches top hitting percentages.

Sophomore Leila King concluded the match with five blocks including one solo, while Baxter (14) and Fournier (11) led the Bears in digs. Baxter also totaled a team-high three aces.

The Pioneers led the first set with a 9-8 lead but an 8-1 run by the Bears swung the set in the favor of WashU. Malek contributed on the Bears final three points to help WashU close out the set after Transylvania rallied within two points. 

The Bears utilized a 5-0 run late in the second set to turn a two-point deficit to a three-point lead, 24-21. The Pioneers scored four of the next five points to even the set at 25-all but a Malek kill and an error on Transylvania gave WashU a 2-0 advantage.

WashU jumped ahead 9-2 in the final set which included five kills by Turner. Transylvania rallied to take the lead at 21-20 but the Bears clinched the match by scoring five of the final six points as Malek tallied three kills on the final run. The Bears improved to 2-0 all-time against Transylvania.

Match 2: DePauw 3 – WashU 2 (25-22, 25-19, 17-25, 22-25, 11-15)

Ufondu (18) and Malek (14) combined for more than 50 percent of the Bears kills (56). Sophomore Chloe Stile paced the attack with 46 assists and also added five kills herself in nine tries.

Baxter reached a new season-high with 25 digs as Fournier added 12. King and Ufondu each totaled six block assists while King also added a solo block.

DePauw tied the first set at 11-all before the Bears' 9-3 run gave them a six-point cushion. The Tigers closed the gap to within a single point but Malek and King posted back-to-back kills to clinch the set 25-22.

WashU used a 16-7 run to take control of the second set. The Bears scored a 25-19 second set victory.

Despite a rally to within a single point, 9-8, WashU was unable to surpass an early DePauw lead and eventually fell 25-17 to the Tigers.

The Tigers trailed 8-7 in the fourth set but used an 8-3 run to pull ahead. A combined block by Ufondu and Malek inched the Bears to within two, 24-22, but a kill from DePauw sent the match to the fifth set.

DePauw pulled ahead by five points, 9-4, before kills from Malek and junior Lauren Martin trimmed the lead to four, 13-9. The Tigers and Bears each scored two of the final four points as DePauw earned the victory to improve its record to 17-6 on the season.

The Bears loss to DePauw is second in school history as WashU holds a 12-2 advantage in the all-time meetings. The Tigers have won two straight matches against the Bears.

WashU will continue its action in the Baden Invite on Saturday with a match at 12:30 p.m. against No. 10 Millikin University before closing out the tournament versus Hendrix College. Be sure to keep up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.