St. Louis, Mo., August 31, 2019 – Senior middle hitter Leila King continued to excel in the opening weekend of the 2019 season for the No. 14-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team and was named to the Bear Invitational All-Tournament Team for her efforts following WashU's split Saturday afternoon.
The Bears split their first two days of action and are 2-2 on the year, after falling to five sets against North Park (2-1) and defeating Cornell (2-1) in four sets. King was named to the All-Tournament team after recording 45 kills, 19 blocks and 15 digs over the weekend with a .440 hitting percentage.
MATCH 1: North Park 3 – WashU 2 (25-17, 16-25, 25-16, 28-30, 12-15)
WashU totaled 14 blocks in the match against North Park and held the Vikings to a .149 hitting percentage. The Bears built a 2-1 set lead and looked to be in the driver's seat midway through the fourth set but North Park rallied to clinch the final two frames.
Sophomore Michaela Bach and sophomore Caitlin Lorenz had back-to-back kills before a service ace by senior Hannah Turner to give the Bears a 7-3 edge. The Vikings rallied to take a three-point advantage before WashU closed out the set on a 17-6 run.
North Park controlled the second set from the opening point en route to outscoring WashU 25-16. However, the Bears responded in the third frame despite an early deficit. WashU scored five straight points with Bach at the line which included a pair of aces and a kill from the St. Louis-native. King helped seal the set in the Bears' favor with a block and kill in the final two WashU points.
The fourth set saw multiple lead changes and the Bears strung together an 8-0 run together to move within a single point of victory, 24-20. The Vikings rallied back to tie the set before trading leads with WashU three times ultimately ending in North Park's favor, 30-28.
The Red & Green scored the initial three points of the final frame before the Vikings contested with six straight of their own. A block by King and Turner brought the Bears within one point by North Park closed out the match on a 9-7 run.
MATCH 2: WashU 3 – Cornell 1 (20-25, 25-12, 25-17, 25-23)
King and Lorenz sparkled in the match against Cornell combining for a total of 31 kills, while King added four blocks. Junior Tricia Brown tallied 10 kills in 21 attempts as the trio of hitters all posted hitting percentages above .400 to guide WashU to victory.
WashU fell behind early in the first set but staged multiple comebacks to pull within two points. King was dominant in the first frame with five kills with no errors in eight attempts but the Rams' attack finished with a .333 hitting percentage compared to the Bears. Cornell claimed set one by a score of 25-20.
King totaled three kills in the opening eight points of the second set which helped WashU take a 6-2 lead. The Bears never looked back as King and Lorenz finished the frame with four kills apiece and no errors.
WashU similarly dominated the third set with Lorenz recording six kills in nine attacks. Freshman Taryn Gurbach gave the Bears a double figure lead, 18-8, with a service ace before WashU clinched the stanza 25-17 on a kill by King.
Cornell retaliated in the fourth by taking a 9-3 lead over the Bears but a series of small rallies cut the deficit down. WashU pulled even at 22-all on a kill by Brown assisted by junior Kirby Knapp. The pair connected again to give WashU its first lead of the frame. Back-to-back service errors put the Bears within a point of victory which was sealed with a kill by Lorenz.
Knapp facilitated the offense to the tune of a .316 hitting percentage while tallying 45 of the Bears 51 assists. She also contributed 11 digs while senior Zoe Baxter led the team with 17. Gurbach and junior Rachel Cheng also reached double figure dig totals with 10 apiece.
WashU will remain home for its next contest while hosting No. 13-ranked Illinois Wesleyan on Wednesday, September 4 at 7 p.m. in the WU Field House. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.