Chicago, Ill., Nov. 15, 2019 – No. 24 Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team fell to No. 5 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 3-1 (25-21, 25-20, 24-26, 25-22) on Friday in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Regionals at the Ratner Athletics Center on the campus of University of Chicago.
WashU completes the season with a 24-9 record while CMS advances to 27-3.
"It was a touch match up right away in a really good regional," head coach Vanessa Walby said. "CMS is a really good team and we saw them early in the year, so we knew it was going to be a tough match. It's also why we schedule tough matches at the beginning of the season, so we are ready for conference and postseason matches."
The Bears were led by sophomore Michaela Bach's double-double of 13 kills and 12 digs. Senior Leila King hit .545 for the match, tallying 12 kills with no errors in 22 attacks, while junior Tricia Brown also chipped in 12 putaways. Junior setter Kirby Knapp dished out 43 assists and had 14 digs and four service aces. Senior libero Zoe Baxter picked up 17 digs, four assists and a service ace.
In the first set, WashU used a four-point swing to extend their lead at 19-14. CMS battled back to erase WashU's lead to tie the match at 20-all, before closing out the set on a 5-1 run. Bach led the Bears with five kills, while Knapp had 10 assists and seven digs.
After a kill by sophomore Caitlin Lorenz in the second set to tie the match at 14-all, CMS slowly pulled away and didn't allow the Bears closer than two points. The Athenas hit .283 (17 kills, 4 errors, 46 attacks) while holding the Bears to a .114 hitting percentage (9 kills, 5 errors, 35 attacks).
The Bears opened the third set on a 4-0 run and was able to push their lead out to six at 10-4. Senior Hannah Turner tallied one of her five kills in the set to break the 24-all tie while King clinched the set win with a huge solo block. King also had five kills for the Bears while Knapp tallied three service aces.
CMS' offense was running hot in the fourth set, forcing WashU to use both timeouts early. The Bears were able to chip away at the Athenas lead, capitalizing on six CMS errors, while picking up two kills from Brown and one from King to get within 21-20. CMS closed out the set on a 4-2 run for the match victory.