No. 13 Volleyball Headed to 32nd Straight NCAA Tournament

No. 13 Volleyball Headed to 32nd Straight NCAA Tournament


St. Louis, Mo., Nov. 5, 2018 – The No. 13-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team was selected to the 2018 NCAA Division III Tournament as an at-large bid and will face Cornell (Iowa) College on Friday, Nov. 9 at 12:30 p.m. (CT) in the Chicago Regional.

WashU concluded the regular season schedule with a 25-7 record and placed third during the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship weekend. The Bears will be the second seed in the regional behind regional host and conference foe No. 10 University of Chicago.

Chicago will face University of Dubuque, while No. 9 Trinity (Texas) University faces Aurora University and No. 12 Illinois Wesleyan University will square off against California Lutheran University.

Chicago Regional Teams Matchup Times and Notes:

Friday, Nov. 9 at 12:30 p.m. WashU vs. Cornell

WashU Bears (25-7 Overall), University Athletic Association (UAA)

  • WashU enters its 32nd consecutive NCAA Division III Volleyball Tournament
  • All-time Tournament record of 103-22 (.824 winning percentage)
  • 10-time National Champions
  • Advanced to 18 Final Fours
  • Placed third in the UAA Championship weekend and third in the UAA regular season standings (5-2)
  • Senior Julianne Malek is the reigning UAA MVP and currently leads DIII in hitting percentage: .438
  • WashU has achieved several milestones this season: senior Ifeoma Ufondu (1,122) and Malek (1,005) joined the 1,000-kill club, becoming the 28th & 29th members in WashU program history, senior Natalie Stephanus became the 22nd Bear to reach the 1,000 dig mark (1,048), junior Zoe Baxter continues to ascend the WashU all-time dig list and currently ranks fourth with 1,678 and finally head coach Vanessa Walby celebrated her 300th career victory on Oct. 13 with a 3-2 win over Rochester.
  • WashU ranks ninth in Division III with 243.5 total blocks.

Cornell Rams (18-9 Overall), Midwest Conference (MWC)

  • Cornell has made it to seven NCAA Tournaments
  • The Rams possess a 2-6 all-time record in NCAA Tournament play
  • Senior Nicole Ciari is the MWC Player of the Year and ranks eighth nationally in points per set (4.95)
  • WashU owns a 5-1 record all-time against Cornell and the two teams split two matches in 2017 with the Bears claiming a five-set victory over the Rams in the most recent match on Sept. 22, 2017.

Friday, Nov. 9 at 3:00 p.m. Illinois Wesleyan vs. Cal Lutheran

Illinois Wesleyan Titans (25-5 Overall), College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW)

  • IWU finished undefeated in CCIW play and won its CCIW tournament with a four-set win over Carthage to earn an at large trip to the NCAA Tournament.
  • The Titans have won 20 consecutive matches heading into the NCAA Tournament.
  • IWU earned its sixth trip in school history to the NCAA Tournament, which the Titans have a 2-5 overall record.
  • Senior Tyler Brown was named the CCIW Most Outstanding Player. She was one of six to earn a spot on the All-CCIW team including senior Rachel Burkman, Leah Seielstad and Heidi Dague and freshmen Bev Ryan and Madi Corey.
  • IWU head coach Kim Nelson-Brown was selected as the CCIW Coach of the Year. She is also the mother of CCIW Most Outstanding Player Tyler Brown.
  • WashU is 23-6 all-time against IWU, including a 3-2 win over the Titans this season on Sept. 5.

Cal Lutheran Regals (18-11 Overall), Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC)

  • Cal Lutheran earned its 18th trip to the NCAA Tournament.
  • The Regals are 33-16 all-time in postseason play.
  • Cal Lutheran lost a 3-0 match in the SCIAC Championship to 2017 National Champion – Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges.
  • The Regals won the NCAA Tournament in 2015.
  • Freshman Maci Haddad is 15th in Division III with 116 total blocks.
  • WashU is 4-3 all-time against Cal Lutheran, most recently beating the Regals 3-1 on Sept. 14, 2018.

Friday, Nov. 9 at 5:30 p.m. Trinity (TX) vs. Aurora

Trinity (TX) Tigers (25-6 Overall), Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC)

  • Trinity earned its 24th bid to the NCAA Tournament.
  • The Tigers are 30-23 all-time in postseason play.
  • Trinity earned an at-large bid after winning the SCAC Third Place match, 3-0 over University of Dallas.
  • Senior Sarah Mullens is the school record holder in digs and exceeded 2,000 during the Tigers most recent match.
  • Junior Katrina Lieberman exceeded 1,200 career digs and ranks seventh in career assists.
  • WashU is 15-2 all-time against Trinity, but hasn't played the Tigers since 2006.

Aurora Spartans (23-8 Overall), Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC)

  • Aurora is making its second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.
  • The Spartans finished 0-1 in postseason play last season, its first ever bid to the Tournament.
  • Aurora won the NACC Tournament Championship.
  • Senior Katie Vondra is the 2018 NACC Player of the Year. She led the team with 413 kills and a .228 hitting percentage. She also added 3.34 digs per set.
  • Senior Emily Lines is ninth in Division III with 11.02 assists per set.
  • WashU is 1-1 all-time against the Spartans, and fell to Aurora earlier this year on Oct. 26, 2018 in straight sets.

Friday, Nov. 9 at 8 p.m. Chicago vs. Dubuque

Chicago Maroons (28-4 Overall), University Athletic Association (UAA)

  • Chicago earned its eighth NCAA Tournament berth.
  • The Maroons are 3-7 all-time in postseason play.
  • Chicago finished the 2018 regular season with an overall record of 28-4
  • The Maroons fell in three-sets during the UAA Championship match to No. 11 Emory University on Saturday, Nov. 3 in Rochester, N.Y.
  • Chicago has earned eight trips all-time in program history to the NCAA Tournament.
  • Sophomore Emma Griffith has totaled 1,280 assists which is the second most in Division III this season.
  • Chicago have totaled 1,470 assists which ranks ninth in Division III.
  • The Maroons have a .248 hitting percentage, which is good for 10th in Division III.
  • WashU is 41-7 all-time against Chicago, but has lost two matches this season against the Maroons.

Dubuque Spartans (24-8 Overall), American Rivers Conference (ARC)

  • Dubuque is making its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance.
  • This is the first appearance by Dubuque since it entered the Tournament in 1998.
  • The Spartans are 1-3 all-time in Tournament play.
  • Dubuque ranks seventh in Division III with 20.07 digs per set.
  • In Division III, junior Kara Wright ranks eighth in total attacks (1,335) and freshman Kate Messino ranks ninth in total assists (1,187).
  • WashU is 2-0 all-time against Dubuque, with its most recent win coming in 2016.

Saturday, Nov. 10 at 2:30 p.m. – Regional Semifinal

Saturday, Nov. 10 at 5 p.m. – Regional Semifinal

Sunday, Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. – Regional Championship

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