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.
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.