St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 27, 2018 – Senior middle hitter Julianne Malek and junior libero Zoe Baxter were awarded Baden Invitational All-Tournament Team honors after helping the No. 12-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team to multiple victories Saturday afternoon in the WU Field House.
WashU improved to 22-6 on the year by defeating Millikin University (14-17) in four sets during its first match and then beating University of Texas at Dallas (21-8) in straight sets to close out the tournament.
Malek ended the tournament with a team-high .443 hitting percentage and 17 blocks while tallying 39 kills. Baxter more than doubled the closest teammate in digs with 86 total in the tournament. Joining the Bears on the All-Tournament team were Peyton Jackson (Millikin), Dani Johnson (Wartburg), Emily Lines (Aurora), Alyssa Porter (UTD) and Morgan Stearley (DePauw).
Match 1: WashU 3 – Millikin 1
Set 1: Millikin 25 – WashU 21
WashU momentarily led 8-7 on a kill by junior Hannah Turner and then built a 16-13 advantage on a kills by Malek and senior Ifeoma Ufondu as well as a block by Malek and ace by Baxter. The Big Blue stormed back to take the lead however, and took the set 25-21 despite Ufondu getting six kills on 10 attempts in the set.
Set 2: WashU 25 – Millikin 21
Malek carried the attack in the second set totaling five kills on 10 attempts including two in the opening moments of the set. Millikin fought to tie the set up at 16-16 but WashU scored the next four points and did not turn back, closing out the set 25-21 on a service error by the Big Blue.
Set 3: WashU 25 – Millikin 22
Millikin took a 15-12 advantage on an ace but kills by Ufondu and Malek helped deflate the gap. WashU permanently took the lead down the stretch with four consecutive points, all kills by Ufondu as she totaled seven in the frame to lead the Bears.
Set 4: WashU 25 – Millikin 16
The Bears middle hitters dominated the fourth set. Malek and freshman Caitlin Lorenz combined for eight kills and two solo blocks. Lorenz was a perfect four-of-four in kills and attempted attacks.
Lorenz led the Bears overall in the match with a .727 hitting percentage, tallying eight kills on 11 attempts. Ufondu finished with a match-high 17 kills and Malek also reached double figures with 13 total. Ufondu soared to 22nd all-time in the kills category after the weekend as she has now totaled 1,073 kills in her career. She is 31 kills away from tying Dianne Stites (1987-90) for 21st place.
Baxter's 23 digs propelled her to fifth all-time in digs in school history. After the weekend's action she has 1,601 digs, passing Laura Brazeal (2006-09) in the process. Baxter is 58 digs away from tying Anne Quenette (1991-94) for fourth place in school history.
Match 2: WashU 3 – UTD 0
Set 1: WashU 25 – UTD 17
Malek was perfect in attacks, finding the floor on all five attempts during the first set. She helped the Bears right away with the first point of the match but the Comets held an 8-7 lead after a kill by Lauren Schilling.
The Bears utilized multiple four-point swings to take a commanding 15-9 lead however, as Malek contributed multiple kills and a block solo on the runs.
Set 2: WashU 25 – UTD 21
The second set was neck-in-neck for the majority of the action, as the Bears clung to a one-point advantage, 21-20, following a block by Schilling and Alex Nolan. The Bears spread the gap following a kill by sophomore setter Kirby Knapp before sophomore outside hitter Tricia Brown closed the door with the final three points on kills for the Bears.
Set 3: WashU 25 – UTD 19
Malek was once again perfect, with three successful kills on three attempts. Turner added three kills on five attempts. Baxter helped inch the Bears closer to victory with back-to-back service aces which pushed WashU ahead 23-16. The Red & Green ended the match on a block by Malek and Ufondu.
Malek led the Bears with 11 kills and an .833 hitting percentage while Ufondu added 10 kills with a .450 success rate. Baxter totaled 22 digs for a match-high against the previously tournament unbeaten Comets.
The Bears will travel to Greenville on Tuesday, Oct. 30 for a 7 p.m. match before heading to Rochester, N.Y. for the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship tournament Friday-Saturday, Nov. 2-3. WashU is the third seed and will face the sixth seeded Violets of New York University. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.