WINONA, Minn. – The University of Chicago volleyball team began the 2017 season with an opening-day split Friday at the Sugar Loaf Classic hosted by Saint Mary's University.
The Maroons (1-1) defeated Luther College in a a five-set thriller, 25-21, 25-23, 24-26, 23-25, 15-8, before falling in another five-set match to University of Minnesota-Morris, 13-25, 25-20, 19-25, 26-24, 7-15.
UChicago completes the four-match tournament Saturday with matches against University of Wisconsin-Stout (10 a.m.) and Ripon College (2 p.m.).
UCHICAGO 3, LUTHER 2 (25-21, 25-23, 24-26, 23-25, 15-8)
The Maroons jumped out to a two-set lead in the day's opener against Luther (0-1), edging the Norse by four and two points, respectively. UChicago had just five attack errors in those two sets while totaling 35 total kills, which included a .417 attack percentage in Set 1.
But Luther would respond in the middle two sets, taking both games by five combined points to send the match to a deciding fifth game. That's when UChicago took control, opening the final frame with a 4-1 lead behind kills from Emma Griffith and Audrey Scrafford. After the Norse rallied within one point at 4-5, the Maroons embarked on a 6-1 run – benefiting from kills by Madison Pearson, Anabella Pinton, and Sarah Muisenga – to push the lead to 11-5.
With Pinton serving, Scrafford would go on to close out the match with two-straight kills to seal the victory.
Scrafford and Sarah Muisenga (13 digs) each had 19 kills, Allison Muisenga dished out a match-high 30 assists and Pinton led the way with 18 digs. Senior Frances McDonald contributed 16 digs and Pinton added a double-double with 18 digs and 11 kills for the Maroons.
MINNESOTA-MORRIS 3, UCHICAGO 2 (13-25, 25-20, 19-25, 26-24, 7-15)
After dropping the opening set, the Maroons battled back to take Sets 2 and 4 before Minnesota-Morris (2-0) held on for a 15-7 win in the deciding frame.
Pinton and Sarah Muisenga added their second-straight double-doubles in the match, as Pinton totaled 14 kills and 12 digs and Muisenga added 14 kills and 11 digs. Scrafford would finish with 12 kills and rookie Emma Griffith directed the offense with a team-high 35 assists and added 14 digs in a solid effort.
Senior Frances McDonald had another strong match defensively for UChicago, recording 16 digs and middle Madeleine Bol was dominant at the net with five block assists, bolstered with three more from teammate Fredericka Paulson.
- Saturday, Sept. 2 – UChicago vs. Wisconsin-Stout (at Winona, Minn.), 10 a.m. / UChicago vs. Ripon (at Winona, Minn.), 2 p.m.