Chicago, Ill., Oct. 15, 2017 – The No. 20-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team rallied to defeat University of Rochester in the third set to capture a 3-0 victory before defeating University Athletic Association (UAA) Round Robin #2 host and No. 13-ranked University of Chicago 3-1 Sunday afternoon.
WashU improved to 18-6 overall and 6-1 in UAA play to secure the second seed in the UAA Championships. No. 10 Carnegie Mellon University earned the first seed by holding on for a 3-2 victory over No. 4 Emory University. WashU improved to 4-2 against American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Top-25 teams this season.
The Bears led in several key categories during both victories. Against Rochester, WashU led in kills (40-34), hitting percentage (.255-.110), assists (33-32) and blocks (6-4). The Bears then led Chicago in kills (61-53), hitting percentage (.324-.196), assists (57-53), aces (9-4), digs (71-69) and blocks (13-4).
Match 1: WashU 3 – Rochester 0 (25-19, 25-23, 26-24)
Junior Julianne Malek and sophomore Hannah Turner provided a formidable tandem in the middle for the Bears against Rochester. Malek led the Bears with 11 kills while Turner finished with a hitting percentage of .444 with nine kills and a single error in 18 attempts.
Rochester opened the match on a 6-1 run resulting in a WashU timeout during the first set. The Bears responded with a 7-2 run and tied the set up at 8-all on a solo block from King. The score was again tied at 14-all before the Bears closed out the action on an 11-5 run. Freshman Jessica Almgren-Bell scored the second to last point with an ace before an attacking error from Rochester ended the set.
The Bears once again trailed in the second set after a kill from the Yellowjackets made the score 17-14. WashU followed the kill with four straight points including a kill by Stile to take the lead, but the score remained tight and Rochester regained the lead at 23-21. Malek capped off a 4-0 run with an ace and an assist to Turner's set clinching kill as the Bears overtook Rochester's lead and won 25-23.
During the third set, Rochester held a four-point advantage at 21-17 before WashU scored the next five points to momentarily take the lead. The Yellowjackets scored three of the next four points to move within a point of clinching its first set, however the Bears responded with the final three points including back-to-back kills by Turner.
WashU claimed the set 26-24 and the match 3-0 for its seventh straight win. The Bears improved to 51-1 all-time against Rochester with its 49th consecutive victory over the Yellowjackets.
Match 2: WashU 3 – Chicago 1 (23-25, 25-20, 25-20, 25-13)
Three Bears exceeded double figures in kills as Malek led the way with 16. King (13) and Ufondu (11) also reached double digits while King posted a match-high .632 hitting percentage with just a single error in 19 attempts.
Stile nearly averaged 13 assists per set as she tallied a season-high 51 assists in addition to five kills in 10 attempts. Turner posted a career-high four service aces to lead the Bears.
Baxter tallied 17 digs, exceeding double figures for the 23rd occasion this season. Almgren-Bell added 13 digs for a new career-high as she reached 10 or more digs in three matches over the weekend.
Malek tied a season-high eight blocks, while tying a career-best with three solo blocks. King also added five block assists.
The first point would give WashU its only lead of the set on a kill by Malek. Chicago scored the next four points and then stretched its lead to eight, 20-12. WashU rallied within a single point at 23-24 but the Maroons clinched the opening set 25-23.
Malek again led the Bears to an early lead, this time in the second set with a solo block. Malek scored four of the Bears five points as WashU worked to a 5-2 lead. Chicago went ahead 18-14 and claimed its first lead of the set with an 8-2 run. Despite the Maroons comeback, WashU reclaimed the lead and evened the match at one set apiece by scoring 11 of the final 13 points. Stile finished with a hand in the final three points with a kill, an ace and an assist in the set clinching kill by Malek.
Chicago pulled even with the Bears twice, including 17-17, but WashU clinched the set with an 8-3 run. The Bears final eight points were all earned including kills by King, Brown, Malek; aces by Baxter, Brown; and blocks by Malek, Brown and Ufondu.
During the fourth set, the Bears scored 12 straight points behind the service of Turner which turned a two-point deficit into a 10-point advantage. Turner totaled three service aces during the run as WashU led 14-4. The Red & Green closed out the set 25-13 on a combo block from Stile and King. The victory sealed WashU's eighth straight victory on the season.
WashU improved to 40-5 all-time in matches against Chicago. The Bears have won two straight matches over the Maroons.
Up next for the Bears is a road match against Webster University on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.