Fulton, Mo., Oct. 23, 2018 – The No. 12-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team battled to a 3-0 victory over Westminster College in a nonconference midweek match Tuesday evening on the road.
WashU improved to 19-5 on the year with the win while Westminster fell to 12-12. The Bears trailed in multiple sets by several points before rallying for a straight set victory. WashU hit .266 on the night, while holding the Blue Jays to a .097 clip.
Set 1: WashU 26 – Westminster 24
WashU trailed by as many as four points in first set as the Blue Jays held an 18-14 advantage. The Bears slowly crept back relying on several kills by senior Julianne Malek and junior Leila King. An ace by Malek, brought WashU within one point, 23-22, before an error evened the score. Westminster took the lead once again but followed with three consecutive errors to end the set in WashU's favor.
King, Malek and freshman Michaela Bach totaled all 15 of the Bears kills in the set, with five apiece. WashU hit a combined .250 during the first frame.
Set 2: WashU 25 – Westminster 13
The Bears turned a 9-7 deficit to 16-8 edge by scoring the next nine points of the second set. Malek and sophomore Tricia Brown had multiple kills on the run, while Malek provided a solo block and block assist with sophomore setter Kirby Knapp.
WashU utilized the nine-point swing to a 25-13 victory as Malek served the Bears to their final three points. King and Turner provided back-to-back blocks to bring WashU within one point of claiming the second set. Bach closed out the long rally with a kill.
Malek led the way for WashU with four kills and three blocks, including two solo. The Bears held the Blue Jays to a .059 hitting percentage in the second frame.
Set 3: WashU 25 – Westminster 19
Westminster held a 17-13 lead in the third set before four straight Bears points evened the score causing a Blue Jay timeout. Kills from senior Lauren Martin, Bach and junior Hannah Turner sandwiched an ace by freshman Grace Cardenas to even the score. Turner added another kill to momentarily give WashU the lead.
The Bears held Westminster to just two points down the stretch and closed out the set scoring 12 of the final 14 points. Senior Natalie Stephanus was at the service line for five points, helping Washu to within a point of the victory. Westminster put the win on hold with a kill before a service error ended the match.
Malek and Bach each recorded 11 kills apiece, while hitting at a .400 rate or better. Malek led the Bears with a .526 mark, recording her 11 kills on 19 attempts. She also recorded four blocks while King led the match with five, including three solo. Sophomore Rachel Cheng tallied a personal-best 15 digs.
WashU will return home for the Baden Invitational on Friday, Oct. 26 at 5 p.m. against Aurora and will celebrate senior night prior to its 7 p.m. match against Wartburg. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.