No. 8 WashU’s Attack Falters in Loss to No. 14 Chicago

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

Waltham, Mass., Sept. 30, 2018 – The No. 8-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team fell to University Athletic Association (UAA) rival and No. 14-ranked University of Chicago in three sets Sunday afternoon in the Red Auerbach Arena in Waltham, Mass.

WashU fell to 11-4 overall while dropping its first UAA game of the season. Chicago improved to 18-2 and is 3-0 in UAA play this year. The Bears hit .079 in the match, their second lowest total this year.

Chicago 3 – WashU 0

Set 1: Chicago 26 – WashU 24

Senior Natalie Stephanus had nine digs in the opening set to help WashU maintain a steady lead over Chicago through much of the play. However, the Maroons came back from a 20-15 deficit and took the set to extra points before beating the Bears on a kill by Emma Griffith.

Set 2: Chicago 25 – WashU 20

WashU's successful attacks were cut in half in the second set. After producing 16 kills in the first frame, the Bears managed just eight in the second with a .000 hitting percentage. Freshman Michaela Bach was the lone Bear to record more than one kill in the second set.

Despite the attacking inefficiencies, WashU kept the score close and tied the set at 14-all on a block by seniors Julianne Malek and Lauren Martin. Chicago scored the next four points to gain momentum towards its 25-20 second set win.

Set 3: Chicago 25 – WashU 21

The Maroons scored five of the first six points in the final set but WashU responded with four straight points to tie the third set at 5-5 on an ace by Bach. Chicago retaliated by outscoring WashU 7-2 in its next run.

The Bears trailed by eight points, 18-10, late in the third set before mounting a 5-1 run. The deficit proved too much to overcome however as the Maroons closed out a 25-21 win to claim the match.

Stephanus led the Bears with 21 digs, finishing two shy of tying her personal-best while Bach added 16. Junior Leila King and Malek totaled three blocks. Martin led the Bears attack with eight kills.

The Bears will return home for a midweek match on Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. against Greenville. The Red & Green will also host the WashU Invitational over the weekend with four teams coming into town to play Friday-Saturday, Oct. 5-6. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.