St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 20, 2018 – The No. 10 Washington University in St. Louis volleyball defeated Webster University 3-0 Thursday evening as two of the sets were decided by two points in the WU Field House.
WashU improved to 9-3 on the year with the victory while dropping Webster to 4-7 overall. The Bears middle hitters combined for 19 kills on 39 attempts with senior Julianne Malek leading WashU with 10 kills and a career-high six service aces. Junior Leila King totaled nine with a .417 hitting percentage.
Set 1: WashU 25 – Webster 23
Webster scored the first four points of the match and the Bears were not responsible for a single point until senior Lauren Martin's kill cut the deficit to 6-3. Several points later a kill from Ifeoma Ufondu sent Malek to the service line. Malek responded with three consecutive aces to help the Bears rally within one point, 8-7.
The Gorloks maintained the lead or kept the score even until WashU strung together seven straight points. Sophomore Kirby Knapp got things started with a well-timed misdirection hit. Malek, Martin and sophomore Tricia Brown also combined for two blocks on the run which helped WashU to a 20-14 advantage.
Webster evened the set at 23-all before a ball handling error put the Bears back on top. Finally a serve from senior Natalie Stephanus was sent over the net to an attack King who ended the first set in favor of the Bears, 25-23.
Set 2: WashU 25 – Webster 13
Despite trailing 3-1 early on in the second set, WashU scored five straight points to take control of the second set. Ufondu totaled six kills on 10 attempts in the set to help the Bears score a 25-13 win.
Set 3: WashU 25 – Webster 23
Malek gave the Bears the lead early in the third set, but Webster rallied for a 15-13 advantage. A pair of kills from freshman Michaela Bach sandwiched between a trio of Webster errors helped the Bears back ahead before the Gorloks responded with five points of their own.
Webster went ahead 23-20 before a kill from King mobilized the final rally for WashU. The Bears scored the final five points of the match which included an ace by Stephanus, a kill by Malek and a block by Malek and Brown.
Ufondu recorded eight kills on the night, while Bach added five kills in just a single set played. Knapp registered 17 assists in the match. Sophomore Rachel Cheng and Martin totaled career-high in digs with 13 and 10 respectively while Stephanus (12) also reached double figures.
Next up for the Bears is University Athletic Association (UAA) competition against Case Western Reserve on Saturday, Sept. 29 in Waltham, Mass. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.