No. 25 WashU Volleyball Rolls to Two Victories in Iowa

Photo by Loras Athletics
Photo by Loras Athletics

Dubuque, Iowa, September 6, 2019 – The No. 25-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team earned a pair of victories during the opening day of the Loras Invitational on its first road trip of the season, beating Dominican (Ill.) University and Wartburg College in four set matches Friday evening.

WashU improved to 5-2 on the season while Domican fell to 3-1 and Wartburg to 3-2 on the year. The Bears remained unbeaten by either program as WashU is 5-0 against the Stars and 11-0 all-time against the Knights.

Match 1: WashU 3 – Dominican 1 (25-15, 25-18, 22-25, 25-17)

Senior Zoe Baxter had a strong showing in the victory over Dominican totaling a match-high 18 digs in helping WashU hold the Stars to a .086 hitting percentage. She also tallied three service aces while avoiding a single reception error as the Bears only allowed four aces on the match.

Sophomore Michaela Bach led the squad with 11 kills as junior Tricia Brown and sophomore Caitlin Lorenz added 10 kills apiece. Junior Kirby Knapp recorded 35 assists.

Brown and senior Hannah Turner contributed two points on kills to give the Bears a 4-1 lead to start the first set. WashU held a multi-point advantage throughout the set and took its greatest lead of the frame on an attacking error by the Stars. The error sealed the Bears 25-15 first set victory and elevated the team to a 1-0 lead. WashU had three blocks which contributed to Dominican's .056 hitting percentage.

The Stars scored the initial two points of the second set but WashU quickly went on a run of its own to capture the lead on a kill by Lorenz, 7-6. Dominican kept the score close for the next few points until WashU went on an 8-1 run. Baxter recorded multiple aces during that stretch and the Bears claimed the second set 25-17 on a kill by Knapp. The Bears once again held Dominican to a low hitting percentage in the second set, as the Stars tallied a -.030 mark.

Dominican built an early advantage which grew to a 23-17 lead. The Bears proceeded to go on a 5-1 run to pull within two points but Keely McCallum sealed the 25-22 third set victory for the Stars. Dominican held a .294-to-.125 hitting percentage edge in the third frame as the Bears committed seven attacking errors.

WashU took a commanding 17-7 lead on a combined block by Brown and senior Leila King, but the Stars retaliated with 5-1 run to cause a timeout. WashU responded to the timeout and closed out the match as Baxter sealed the victory with an ace.

Match 2: WashU 3 – Wartburg 1 (16-25, 25-17, 25-22, 25-21)

The Bears spread the offense around in the four set victory over Wartburg. Knapp had 40 assists while contributing to four teammates recording double digit kills. Brown (15) led the quartet of Turner (12), Bach (10) and King (10). Baxter recorded a match-high 17 digs and was flawless in serve receive.

Wartburg worked its way to a 7-2 lead before WashU trimmed the deficit to three points at 9-6. The Knights outscored the Bears 16-8 down the stretch to claim the first frame while hitting .444, committing just one error in 27 attacks.

After trailing 3-0 to start the second set, WashU scored the next six points including three consecutive kills by Turner. She gave WashU its largest lead of the frame on the final play of the set on the dish by Knapp. WashU recovered to hit .351 in the second set while holding the Knights to .158.

WashU took a four-point advantage after a kill and ace by Bach, 20-16. The Knights rallied to take a 22-20 lead with six straight points but the Bears closed out the third set with the final five points, three of which were tallied on kills by Brown.

The fourth and final set was back-and-forth as Wartburg took a 20-19 lead. The Bears closed out the match on a 5-1 run behind two kills by King as well as a kill and ace by Brown. WashU held the Knights to a .147 hitting percentage in the final set and recorded three blocks.

WashU will continue play in the Loras Invite Saturday, September 7 beginning at 10 a.m. against No. 11 Gustavus Adolphus. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.