Greenville, Ill., Sept. 16, 2014 – The No. 7-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team won its fourth match in a row with a 25-18, 25-18, 25-20 win at Greenville College Tuesday evening.
The Panthers played tough with Washington U. in each of the three sets, but the Bears were able to pull away down the stretch for the sweep. In set one, Greenville took a 13-11 lead with a block, but Washington U. rallied to take the lead back at 15-14 on a kill by sophomore Alex Sheredy. After a side-out by Greenville tied the score at 15-15, the Bears went on a 4-0 run, including a kill by junior Jackie Nelligan and a block by Nelligan and Sheredy, to take a 19-15 lead. Washington U. continued to pull away and a kill down the line by junior Nkiru Udenze gave the Bears the 25-18 win in set one.
The second set was similar to the first with the teams playing to a 15-15 tie after a block by Nelligan and sophomore Amanda Palucki. Back-to-back kills by Udenze made it 17-15 and gave the Bears the lead for good. The Panthers pulled to within 21-18 on an attacking error by Washington U., but the Bears got three kills on the final four points of the set to win 25-18 and take a 2-0 lead in the match.
Washington U. jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the third set, before Greenville used a 7-1 run to take an 8-6 lead. The Panthers maintained the lead until a soft kill over the block by Udenze tied the score at 12-12. The teams traded points to a 15-15 tie before Washington U. took control with a 6-0 run that included kills by freshman Alex Hammarskjold and Nelligan along with a pair of ace serves by sophomore Caroline Dupont. The closest Greenville got the remainder of the match was four at 24-20, and a kill off the block by Udenze finished the match as the Bears won set three 25-20.
Washington U. hit .254 (48-18-118) in the match. Udenze had a team-high 11 kills, including six kills on 11 attacks in the second set. Nelligan tallied nine kills and three blocks, while Sheredy added seven kills and nine digs. Senior Lindsay Juriga finished with 22 assists and eight digs, while junior Allison Zastrow notched the first double-double of her career with season-highs of 12 assists and 12 digs to go with her six kills. Sophomore Kalehua Katagiri led the Bears defensively with 13 digs, her 12th double-digit dig performance of the season.
Washington U. (12-2) returns to action at the Elmhurst Invite II Friday-Saturday, Sept. 19-20, in Elmhurst, Ill. The Bears are set to take on Heidelberg University at 4 p.m. and No. 14 College of Saint Benedict (Minn.) at 8 Friday, before facing University of Wisconsin-Platteville and No. 11 Eastern University Saturday.
Bear Notebook: Washington U. leads the all-time series against Greenville 13-12 … The Bears also earned a three-set win over the Panthers (25-23, 25-13, 25-20) in the season opener Aug. 29 at the WU Field House … Sheredy now has 493 career kills, while Dupont needs 11 kills to reach the 500 mark for her career … The win was career victory No. 175 for head coach Vanessa Walby.