No. 11 Volleyball Splits Matches Against Buena Vista, Neb. Wesleyan

No. 11 Volleyball Splits Matches Against Buena Vista, Neb. Wesleyan

St. Louis, Mo., Aug. 30, 2014 – The No. 11-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team rallied from a two-set deficit to defeat Buena Vista University 26-28, 29-31, 25-20, 25-17, 15-11 Saturday at the Labor Day Classic. In their second match of the day, the Bears were unable to stop a hot Nebraska Wesleyan University team as the Prairie Wolves earned a 25-18, 25-17, 25-20 win over Washington U.

The Bears (3-1) conclude play in their Labor Day Classic with two more matches Sunday at the WU Field House. Washington U. takes on Hanover College at 12:15 p.m., followed by a match against Fontbonne University at 2:30. 

Washington U. 3, Buena Vista 2

Buena Vista won the first two sets, before Washington U. battled to wins in sets three and four to force the decisive fifth set. The Bears took a 7-5 lead on a net violation by the Beavers in set five. Buena Vista answered with a 6-1 run to build an 11-8 lead. A kill by sophomore Caroline Dupont and a line shot by sophomore Alex Sheredy cut the Beavers' lead to 11-10. After a side-out by BVU made it 12-10, the Beavers committed two attacking errors, allowing Washington U. to tie the score and force a Buena Vista timeout. Junior  Jackie Nelligan got a kill to give the Bears their first lead since 7-6, but a kill by Jade Schaap tied the score again at 13-13. A kill by junior Allison Zastrow gave the Bears a match-point opportunity. Senior Lindsay Juriga served for the match, and an error by the Beavers ended the match, giving Washington U. the 15-11 set-five win.

After dropping the first two sets by a combined four points, the Bears jumped out to a 9-5 lead in set three after Dupont served five straight points. The Bears stretched their lead to 17-9 after a block by Dupont and junior Nkiru Udenze. After a side-out by Buena Vista, Dupont notched a kill on a quick set to make it 18-10. The Beavers scored the next four points to cut the lead to 18-14 before a long rally ended with an attacking error on BVU. The Bears got to within 21-19, but Udenze got a kill on a set in the middle to make it 22-19. After an attacking error by the Beavers, Udenze recorded her third kill of the set to give the Bears a set-point opportunity. After a side-out by BVU, an attack by the Beavers hit the antenna to end the set 25-20 in favor of the Bears.

The two teams alternated scoring to begin the fourth set. Back-to-back kills by Sheredy and Nelligan, followed by a block by Nelligan and Zastrow made the score 12-9 in favor of Washington U. The Bears led 15-12, but back-to-back kills by Nelligan and Udenze forced Buena Vista to take its second timeout of the set. Leading 19-14, Dupont and Sheredy combined for three kills to push Washington U.'s lead to 22-14. The Beavers cut the lead to 22-17 before Washington U. called a timeout. A service error by BVU gave the Bears a sideout, and a kill by Zastrow made it set point before an attacking error by Buena Vista gave the Bears a 25-17 win and forced the decisive fifth set.

Washington U. led much of the first set before Buena Vista took a 20-18 lead after a kill, block and ace serve. An ace by Dupont tied the score at 23-23, and the Bears battled through three set-point opportunities for Buena Vista before a kill by Molly Schimp and a net violation on Washington U. gave BVU the 28-26 win in the opening set. The second set was much the same as the first. Washington U. grabbed a 21-17 lead, and had two set-point opportunities at 24-22, but the Beavers got back-to-back kills to tie the score at 24-24. A kill by Nelligan gave Washington U. another chance at set-point, but a service error knotted the score again. The teams continued to trade points until Buena Vista got its first set-point opportunity at 28-27. A kill by Zastrow tied it again, but the Bears committed three attacking errors on the final four rallies of the set as Buena Vista got a 31-29 win to take a 2-0 lead in the match.

Washington U. finished the match with a .232 attack percentage (69-22-203), including hitting .370 (18-1-46) in the fourth set. Four players finished with double-digit kills for the Bears in the match, led by Sheredy's 18 kills and 15 digs. Nelligan tallied 15 kills, while hitting a team-best .429 (15-3-28), and also finished with four blocks. Udenze (12 kills) and  Dupont (11 kills, seven digs) also finished with double-digit kills. Junior Cassie Wang also posted a double-double with 38 assists and 16 digs, while Juriga added 19 assists. Sophomore Kalehua Katagiri finished with a team-high 19 digs, and senior Lauren Yung added 11.

Nebraska Wesleyan 3, Washington U. 0

Nebraska Wesleyan hit .377 in the first two sets against Washington U., tallying 23 kills on 61 swings to take a 2-0 lead in the match (25-18, 25-17). The Prairie Wolves remained without an attacking error until midway through the third set, finishing the match with a .333 attack percentage (34-2-96). Nebraska Wesleyan also dominated the battle at the net, tallying 11 team blocks, while Washington U. finished without a block in the match. The Bears were also hampered by 11 serving errors in the match.

The Prairie Wolves jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the third set, taking advantage of errors on the Bears' first two serve attempts of the set, while notching three ace serves, a kill and a block. The Bears chipped away at the lead, and back-to-back kills by freshman Emily Richardson and Dupont made it 11-8 and forced a timeout by NWU. The Prairie Wolves maintained the lead until kills by Sheredy and Zastrow tied the score at 19-19. NWU answered with a 6-1 run to end the match with the 25-20 win in set three.

Udenze was the most effective attacker for the Bears offensively, tallying seven kills, while hitting .429 (7-1-14). Wang finished with 17 assists and eight digs, and Juriga recorded 14 assists and six digs in the match. Sheredy had a team-high 14 digs, while Katagiri added 13.

Bear Notebook: The match between the Bears and Buena Vista was the first in school history … Washington U. now leads the all-time series against Nebraska Wesleyan 7-1.