WashU Suffers First Loss of the Season with 3-2 Setback to #3 Emory
Rochester, N.Y., October 16, 2011 – The No. 2 Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team suffered its first loss of the season by dropping a back-and-forth match to No. 3 Emory University (23-25, 25-23, 25-14, 18-15, 15-12) to conclude the second University Athletic Association (UAA) round robin of the season on Sunday afternoon at The Palestra in Rochester, N.Y.
The Bears finished UAA round robin action with a 6-1 record thanks to a 3-0 win over the University of Rochester (25-13, 25-10, 25-8) earlier in the day and will be the No. 2 seed for the UAA Championship, to be held Friday-Saturday, Nov. 4-5, at New York University in New York, N.Y.
Washington University started strong against the Eagles, winning the opening set 25-23. After falling behind 6-2 the team bounced back with a 7-2 run that ended as sophomore middle hitter Kaia Schwartz stuffed an Alex Duhl attack. The Bears led by as many as six points in the frame and closed out the win with a kill from sophomore outside hitter Meghan Byrne.
Emory responded by winning the next to sets but the Bears charged right back by dominating the fourth frame in a 25-18 win. Washington U. hit .346 in the fourth set with senior middle hitter Lauren Budde and junior outside hitter Drew Hargrave recording five kills apiece to help force a deciding fifth set.
Just like the rest of the match the fifth saw both teams share control as the action played out, but Emory held on in the end. Washington U. faced a 7-5 deficit before rattling off three straight points and taking an 8-7 lead on a Schwartz block.
Emory rebounded and led 12-9 before Hargrave hammered down her 17th kill of the match, but Washington U. was unable to close the gap to fewer than two points.
Junior libero Kelly Pang was outstanding all match long, setting a new school record with 36 digs. She broke the old mark of 35, set by Colleen Winter in 2005. Budde hit .422 and was one shy of her career-high with 23 kills, also recording 16 digs and three total blocks.
Hargrave’s 17 kills was also one shy of a career-high and Byrne was the third Bear to reach double digit kills with 10. Schwartz tallied five kills and set a new career-mark with five solo blocks and she finished the match with seven total stuffs.
Earlier in the day the Bears posted an impressive win over the University of Rochester with the team looking stronger after each set. Byrne, Budde and Hargrave each had three kills as Washington U. took the opening frame 25-13. The Bears jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the second set thanks to a strong serving run from Pang. Budde collected five kills in the 25-10 second-set win.
Washington U. hit an outstanding .500 in the 25-8 third-set victory; recording 14 kills on 28 attempts without a single attack error. Budde finished the match hitting .600 with 12 kills and 13 digs. Byrne added nine kills, hitting .375 and Hargrave notched eight kills with a pair of solo blocks.
The Bears hit .444 against Rochester, their second-highest single match hitting percentage of the season and the team committed just five attack errors, which ties for the lowest total of the year.
Washington U. (24-1, 6-1 UAA) returns to action on Wednesday, Oct. 26, when it hosts Webster University for a single match at the Washington University Field House starting at 7 p.m.