WALTHAM, Mass. -- When senior Katie Huntington wound up and spiked a kill up the middle on match point, the University of Chicago volleyball team immediately vaulted into the conference record books. The Maroons defeated Emory University 3-1 in the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship on Saturday and captured their first conference title in school history.
UChicago (26-10) became the first team other than Emory or Washington University in St. Louis to win the UAA title since 1988. The Maroons were dominant in conference play this season, posting a 6-1 regular season record and then winning three more against UAA competition over the weekend. UChicago came into the UAA Championship as the No. 1 seed while Emory (30-4) was the No. 3 seed. The two teams met previously on Oct. 19 and the Maroons came away with a 3-1 victory.
The Eagles started fast on Saturday and grabbed the first set 25-21. The second set was hotly contested with both sides regularly trading leads. Emory had three set points, but UChicago came back each time to extend the set. A kill by sophomore outside hitter Maren Loe tied the score at 26-26, then sophomore outside hitter Jasmine Mobley's kill and an Emory attack error gave the set to UChicago 28-26.
The third set was tied at 15-15 before UChicago reeled off three blocks and seized control. The Maroons won the set 25-19. The decisive fourth set was tied at 17-17 when UChicago made its move once again. Three kills from senior middle blocker Maggie Vaughn helped make the score 21-18 and Huntington's final kill ended the match 25-21.
With the win, UChicago clinches the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. This marks the fourth-straight season that the Maroons have reached the postseason.
Katie Huntington (Rightside Hitter, Sr.) - 18 kills
Maggie Vaughn (Middle Blocker, Sr.) - 17 kills, 5 blocks
Jasmine Mobley (Outside Hitter, So.) - 16 kills
Nikki DelZenero (Setter, Sr.) - 56 assists, 14 digs, 3 kills
Eirene Kim (Libero, Jr.) - 32 digs, 4 assists
Ragine Graves (Setter, So.) - 15 digs