GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The University of Chicago volleyball team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III Championship for the third-straight season with a 3-1 victory over Buffalo State University on Thursday.
The No. 16-ranked Maroons improved to 27-10 and will next take on No. 10-ranked Wittenberg University (24-8) at 4:30 PM (ET) on Friday. The Bengals ended their season with a 25-10 record.
"I think in our first game, we came out pretty comfortable and were pretty used to the facility and were able to push through," said Head Coach Vanessa Walby. "Then Buffalo State came back and made a good push on us in the second game that forced us to play a little bit harder and more competitive ... I think our girls did a good job of just mentally getting back to our basics and fundamentals and playing our game a little bit more, which improved the skills on our end and got us into a better rhythm."
UChicago settled into a nice groove on offense and led wire-to-wire to take the first set 25-13. The Maroons scored 11 of the first 15 points of the match and did not let the Bengals within five points the rest of the set.
In the second set, Buffalo State kept things close the whole way as the two sides alternated leads. UChicago looked primed to take a 2-0 lead with a set point at 24-23. But the Bengals scored the next three points to snatch the set 26-24 and even the match at 1-1.
That momentum carried over into the third set. Buffalo State went up 9-2 and UChicago looked to be on the ropes. However, the Maroons regained their composure and slowly chipped away at the deficit. The score was tied at 13-13 and again at 19-19. Sophomore outside hitter Jasmine Mobley came up clutch with four kills down the stretch to spur the Maroons to a 25-20 set victory.
UChicago went on to score eight of the first nine points of the fourth set and finished the match off 25-14. The final statistics ended decisively in the Maroons' favor with 63 kills, a .244 team hitting percentage and 10 blocks. The Bengals were limited to 37 kills, a .082 hitting percentage and four blocks.
Jasmine Mobley (Outside Hitter, So.) – 18 kills, 4 blocks
Maren Loe (Outside Hitter, So.) – 15 kills, 11 digs
Katie Huntington (Rightside Hitter, Sr.) – 11 kills, 3 blocks
Kara Conway (Middle Blocker, Jr.) – 4 kills, 6 blocks
Nikki DelZenero (Setter, Sr.) – 50 assists, 3 aces, 14 digs, 5 kills, 3 blocks
Eirene Kim (Libero, Jr.) – 28 digs
Ragine Graves (Setter, So.) – 17 digs
- Friday, Nov. 15 – UChicago vs. Wittenberg University, 4:30 PM (ET)