WashU Captures Impressive Wins in East to West Conclusion

Photo by Nathan Katz
Photo by Nathan Katz

St. Louis, Mo., September 14, 2019 – Washington University in St. Louis volleyball closed out the nationally competitive East to West Battle with exciting victories Saturday, beating No. 11 Trinity (Texas) University in a five set match before defeating Cal Lutheran in four-sets in the WU Field House.

WashU improved to 9-4 while Trinity dropped to 8-3 after its first loss of the weekend and Cal Lutheran exited the weekend with a 6-5 record. Senior Leila King was honored as an All-Tournament selection as voted upon by the coaches from the East to West Battle. She excelled in both of Saturday's matches with double figure kill totals and a team-high 10 blocks.

Also awarded All-Tournament honors were Maci Haddad (Cal Lutheran), Sarah Tritschler (CMS), Phoebe Madsen (CMS), Leah Saunders (Emory), Emma Davis (Juniata) and Emily Ellis (Trinity). Saunders took home the 2019 East to West Battle MVP honors.

The Bears rebounded from one of its lowest hitting percentages of the season against Trinity to record its second highest of the year against Cal Lutheran, .344. WashU totaled 60 kills on just 125 attempts against the Regals.

Match 1: WashU 3 – Trinity 2 (23-25, 25-22, 20-25, 25-21, 15-11)

A total of seven combined attacking errors were committed in the first set but Trinity outhit the Bears .432 compared to a .267 rate for WashU. The Red & Green took an 11-10 lead following back-to-back kills by sophomore Caitlin Lorenz and soon thereafter held a 19-15 advantage with six straight points, three scored by junior Tricia Brown. The Tigers closed out the set on a 10-5 run for the win.

A 4-0 run by WashU included three consecutive aces by senior Leila King for an 8-4 lead. The Bears maintained an edge on the Tigers throughout the set with King totaling four kills and no errors on five attempts. King and Brown combined to score four of the final five points for WashU, tallying two kills apiece in the 25-22 WashU victory.

King led the Bears on a five point run with two kills and two blocks for a 14-11 advantage in the third frame. The Tigers fought back to take the lead twice and did not relinquish the edge down the stretch claiming the set 25-20.

WashU's narrow edge in the fourth set expanded to five points, 16-11 on an ace by King. The Bears maintained the multi-point advantage throughout the set before sending the match to its fifth set on a kill by Lorenz for the 25-21 win in the fourth set.

Junior Kirby Knapp scored the initial two points of the final frame on aces, but the Tigers scored five of the next seven points for the lead. Trinity and WashU swapped the one-point edge before the Bears attack closed out the set on a 7-4 run in the winner-take-all frame. King and Brown each had multiple kills down the stretch with King providing the final point.

Brown (17), King (15), freshman Alaina Bohrer (12) and Bach (12) each reached double figures in kills. Knapp averaged five assists per set in the victory.  King also notched four aces.

Defensively senior Zoe Baxter recorded 25 digs for a match-high. Bach, Brown and Knapp all tallied 11 digs apiece while King led the squad with seven blocks.

Match 2: WashU 3 – Cal Lutheran 1 (16-25, 27-25, 25-15, 25-17)

The first set was dominated by Cal Lutheran, who posted a .480 hitting percentage, totaling just one error compared to six by the Bears. The Regals claimed the set 25-16 following multiple runs in their favor.

Knapp led the Bears to a 4-0 lead to start the second set while at the service line. WashU scored points on the run with two kills by Brown, as well as a kill and block by Bohrer. The Red & Green's lead grew to seven points on a kill by Lorenz following an ace by Bach, 19-12, but the Regals fought back to even the set at 25-25. The Bears evened the match by scoring the next two points including the set clinching kill by Brown. WashU hit a match-high .484 in the second set as Lorenz, Bohrer and King notched multiple kills without recording an error.

Brown dominated the third set en route to leading the Bears to a 25-15 victory. She tallied nine kills including consecutive ones which gave WashU a commanding 9-3 advantage. Brown scored the final four points for WashU on kills.

Similarly, King had an outstanding fourth set to rally the Bears to a 25-17 victory. She recorded six kills in the frame and had back-to-back strikes which sparked WashU's 7-0 run in the middle of the set. Bach provided the final tally on a well-placed ball that Knapp assisted on.

Knapp totaled 51 of the Bears 57 assists while leading the attack to its second highest hitting percentage of the season, .344. WashU's top mark came in the season-opener against Fontbonne, .429. Brown (16), King (13) and Bach (10) all reached double figures in kills, while Lorenz led the hitters with a .471 hitting percentage. Knapp posted the team-high mark sneaking four attacks past the Cal Lutheran defense on eight attempts.

Baxter recorded more than 20 digs for the second consecutive match, finishing with a match-high 23.

WashU travels to Waltham, Mass. for its first taste of University Athletic Association (UAA) play Saturday-Sunday, September 21-22. The Red & Green open UAA play against Case Western Reserve at 2 p.m. (ET). Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.