St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 7, 2013 – Freshman Caroline Dupont posted a .589 hitting percentage, tallying 35 kills and just two errors on 56 attacks, to lead the No. 7-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team to a 25-20, 21-25, 20-25, 25-22, 15-14 win over No. 21 Pacific Lutheran University and a 25-13, 25-20, 21-25, 25-13 victory over No. 3 Wittenberg University Saturday at the WU/ASICS National Invitational.
Dupont was one of three Bears named to the WU/ASICS National Invitational all-tournament team, joining sophomore teammates Nkiru Udenze and Cassie Wang. Amber Aguiar, Bethany Huston and Samantha North of Pacific Lutheran, along with Kara Seidenstricker and Meghan Vodopich of Wittenberg were also named to the all-tournament team.
#7 Washington U. 3, #21 Pacific Lutheran 2
After dropping sets two and three to fall into a 2-1 hole against Pacific Lutheran, Washington U. battled to a 25-22 win in the fourth set to force a fifth set. In the deciding set, the Bears hit .562 with nine kills and no errors on 16 attacks to win the set 15-4. Washington U. jumped on top of the Lutes, 11-0, behind five kills and three blocks, to take command of the fifth set. The Bears got their first match-point opportunity at 14-2 after a kill by Dupont, before back-to-back kills by Pacific Lutheran made it 14-4. Senior Meghan Byrne tooled the Pacific Lutheran block to end the match, giving Washington U. the 15-4 win in set five.
The Bears fell behind early in the first set, before a kill by Udenze gave Washington U. a 13-11 lead and forced a Pacific Lutheran timeout. The Bears pushed their lead to 21-14, but the Lutes answered with five-straight points to cut the deficit to 21-19. A kill by freshman Alex Sheredy ended the run and sparked a 3-0 run by the Bears that gave them a set-point opportunity at 24-19. A serving error made it 24-20, but Dupont ended the set with a kill to give Washington U. a 1-0 lead in the match.
Washington U. built an 8-3 lead to open the second set, but Pacific Lutheran rallied to tie the score at 9-9. The teams traded leads, and a service error by the Lutes made it 18-17 in favor of Washington U. Pacific Lutheran answered with four-straight points to take the lead for good. A kill by Udenze cut the Lutes' lead to 22-20, but an Allison Wood kill gave Pacific Lutheran the 25-21 win and evened the match score.
In the third set, Washington U. grabbed an early lead, but Pacific Lutheran again rallied to tie at 11-11. Washington U. took a 19-16 lead on a kill by sophomore Jackie Nelligan, but the Lutes went on a 9-1 run to end the set and take a 2-1 lead in the match. The fourth set was even through a tie at 19-19, but Nelligan hammered a kill through the block and the Lutes committed back-to-back attacking errors as Washington U. took a 22-19 lead. Pacific Lutheran cut the lead to 22-21, before a kill by Udenze and an attacking error by the Lutes gave the Bears a set-point opportunity. PLU battled through one set-point, but Sheredy got a kill to finish the set, 25-22, and force a decisive fifth set.
Washington U. hit .226 in the match, and finished with five players recording double-digit kills. Dupont led the way with career-highs of 18 kills and seven blocks. Udenze finished with 15 kills, while hitting .429. Byrne, Nelligan and Sheredy added 10 kills each.. Wang posted career-highs of 30 assists and 21 digs, while freshmen Kalehua Katagiri (21) and Corey Salzer (11) both recorded career-high digs. Senior Tanya Marvi and Sheredy added 10 digs apiece, and sophomore Allison Zastrow dished out 22 assists.
#7 Washington U. 3, #3 Wittenberg 1
Washington U. led 9-7 early against Wittenberg before reeling off an 8-1 run to open up a 17-8 lead. It was all Bears from there as they cruised to a 25-13 win in the opening set. Washington U. hit .419 in the first set, including five kills on eight swings (.625) for Dupont, compared with .143 hitting for the Tigers.
A 6-0 run for Wittenberg, including three ace serves, midway through the second set gave the Tigers a 14-12 lead. After a timeout by the Bears, Udenze smashed a kill down the line to end the run. The Bears regained the lead for good at 17-16 on a kill by Dupont, which sparked an 8-2 run for Washington U. After a kill and a block by the Tigers made it 24-20, a kill by Udenze to the middle of the court ended the set and gave the Bears a 2-0 lead in the match.
Wittenberg led through much of the third set, but a block by Sheredy and Nelligan tied the score at 20-20. The Tigers answered with a 5-1 run to take the set, 25-21, and force a fourth set. In the final set, three-straight kills by Sheredy helped Washington U. build an early 6-2 lead. The Tigers made it 13-11 on a solo block by Andrea Behling, but Washington U. finished the match with a 12-2 run, including four kills by Dupont, to seal the win, 25-13.
Dupont had a monster match again for the Bears, hitting a blistering .586 with 17 kills and no errors on 29 attacks, while also tallying a career-best six digs. Sheredy recorded a double-double with 14 kills and a match-high 16 digs, while Byrne added 10 kills. Nelligan and Udenze finished with nine kills each. Katagiri posted 14 digs, while Zastrow and Wang dished out 23 and 21 assists, respectively.
Washington U. (8-0) returns to action at the Wittenberg Fall Classic Friday-Saturday, Sept. 13-14, in Springfield, Ohio. The Bears are set to play four matches in Springfield, taking on No. 5 Hope College and No. 2 Calvin College Friday, before facing No. 20 Juniata College and Heidelberg University Saturday.
Bear Notebook: Washington U. leads the all-time series' against both Pacific Lutheran (2-0) and Wittenberg (13-2) … The win against Wittenberg marked the 1,120th victory in Washington University volleyball history (1,120-230-6, .828) … The Bears are 444-48 (.902) at home since 1985 … Byrne increased her career kills total to 1,061, which ranks 20th all-time at Washington University and is five shy of 19th … Sheredy has recorded double-doubles in five of her first eight collegiate matches.