No. 11 WashU Celebrates Dig Pink Victory in Straight Sets

Photo by Marco Quaroni
Photo by Marco Quaroni

St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 5, 2018 – The No. 11-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team defeated University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh 3-0 during its opening match of the WashU Invitational on Dig Pink Night in the WU Field House Friday evening.

The Bears improved to 13-4, while the Titans fell to 9-10. WashU came out on fire in the first set with a .417 hitting percentage to claim a 1-0 lead but relied on solid play at the net defensively to secure the second and third sets.

Set 1: WashU 25 – Oshkosh 14

The Bears turned a three-point advantage into an eight-point lead with a 5-0 run which included a kill and block by senior Julianne Malek. WashU went ahead by double digits late in the set when Oshkosh committed multiple errors.

Malek led the Bears in the first set with a perfect hitting percentage, tallying four kills on four tries. Likewise senior Ifeoma Ufondu added four kills, while freshman Michaela Bach totaled three.

Set 2: WashU 28 – Oshkosh 26

The largest lead of the second set was when Oshkosh took a 21-18 advantage but WashU rallied back with some clutch kills by Ufondu. She helped the Bears tie the match twice, 22-22 and 24-24. Junior Leila King also knotted the match up at 25-all before the final three points were errors on the Titans.

Set 3: WashU 25 – Oshkosh 23

Senior Natalie Stephanus' ace put WashU ahead 12-6 but the Titans kept in the set and rallied back to take a 23-22 lead. Head coach Vanessa Walby called a timeout to regroup WashU and the Bears responded with three straight points.

Malek provided the equalizer on the dish from sophomore Kirby Knapp. Ufondu and King denied a shot at the net to put WashU ahead 24-23 before Ufondu's attack was too much for the Titans to handle. Ufondu closed out the set with her match-leading 14 kill.

Malek also reached double figures in kills with 11 while Knapp averaged 11 assists per set, totaling 33 in the match. Stephanus finished with a season-high five aces.

Up next: The Bears host UW-Platteville at 12:30 p.m. and No. 2-ranked Colorado College at 2:30 p.m. in the WU Field House on Saturday, Oct. 6. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.