Rochester, N.Y., Nov. 3, 2018 – The No. 13-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team posted a 3-1 win over Carnegie Mellon University in the third place match during the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship weekend in Rochester, N.Y Saturday morning.
Following the championship weekend, WashU has a 24-7 record while Carnegie Mellon dropped to 22-10. The Bears combined for 72 digs compared to the Tartans 63 and WashU also finished with five additional blocks, 10-5.
Senior middle hitter Julianne Malek joined the 1,000 kill club during the victory with her fifth of 10 kills in the match. She reached the mark during the second set as WashU's attack turned up the tempo following a first set loss. Malek joined teammate senior outside hitter Ifeoma Ufondu in the club and in the process became the 29th player in school history.
Ufondu led the match with 18 kills and now has 1,122 in her career. She broke a tie for 21st place in career kills with Dianne Stites (1987-90) and is now one shy of tying Jackie Nelligan for 20th all-time in school history.
Senior defensive specialist Natalie Stephanus led the Bears with 16 digs and in the process climbed the all-time record list in career digs. With the 16 digs, Stephanus bypassed Nikki Holton (1993-96), Jenny Cafazza (1995-98) and Jackie Foley (1997-00). She currently sits in 19th place in program history with 1,048 digs.
Set 1: Carnegie Mellon 25 – WashU 18
WashU was held to a negative hitting percentage in the first set of play as the Bears committed more errors, 10, than converted attacks, nine.
Ufondu led the Bears with four kills in the set and she also had a solo block. Sophomore outside hitter Tricia Brown also contributed a solo block.
Set 2: WashU 25 – Carnegie Mellon 19
The Bears attack dramatically improved in the second set, producing a .531 hitting percentage, scoring 18 points on kills while committing just a single error. Ufondu once again led the charge tallying seven kills in the set. WashU also had three blocks during the set.
Malek put the Bears ahead 8-6 with an ace moments after joining the 1,000 kill club. WashU continued to pull away from the Tartans, including a 6-2 run capped with back-to-back kills by Ufondu who also produced the final two Bears points on kills to even the match at one set apiece.
Set 3: WashU 25 – Carnegie Mellon 18
Carnegie Mellon led 7-4 early on in the third frame before WashU went on a 13-4 run that forced the Tartans to use both timeouts. The Red & Green's attack was provided from a wide range of Bears as five individuals recorded kills during the run.
The Tartans outscored WashU 6-4 in the next 10 points following the second timeout, but WashU closed out the set 25-18. Malek and Ufondu had service aces to help the Bears down the stretch.
Set 4: WashU 25 – Carnegie Mellon 23
After the fourth set was tied 10-10, WashU responded with a 6-1 run with kills coming from freshman middle hitter Caitlin Lorenz, Ufondu and junior right side Hannah Turner as well as a solo block from Malek.
Back-to-back points by Ufondu on a kill and ace put the Bears ahead by six points, 21-15. The Tartans rallied to even the score at 22-22. Two kills by Brown put the Bears on the verge of claiming the set and match. WashU ultimately one two points later after a Carnegie Mellon service error.
Brown also reached double figures in kills with 11 while junior libero Zoe Baxter (14) and sophomore defensive specialist Rachel Cheng (12) recorded double digit dig totals. Lorenz led the Bears with five blocks.
WashU will await NCAA Tournament news and learn its fate during the NCAA Selection Show on Monday, Nov. 5 at 11:30 a.m. (CT). Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.