PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The University of Chicago volleyball team made its return to the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship final thanks to a pair of wins on Friday. UChicago, which won the 2013 UAA title, defeated Case Western Reserve University 3-1 and No. 5-ranked Washington University-St. Louis 3-0.
The Maroons (26-11 overall) won their sixth-straight match and will face No. 6-ranked Emory University at 1:00 PM (ET) on Saturday.
UChicago 3, Case 1 (25-23, 21-25, 25-17, 25-21)
UChicago came in as the No. 5 seed in the tournament while Case was the No. 4 seed. The Maroons flexed their muscle to go up 11-5 and then 17-9. The Spartans answered right back with an 11-1 run to surge ahead. UChicago got to within 23-22 when junior outside hitter Maren Loe delivered three-straight kills to end the set, 25-23.
Case led virtually wire-to-wire in the second set and tied the match, 25-21. The third set went to UChicago 25-17 thanks to an 8-1 run midway through the set. The critical fourth set saw the Maroons gain a 15-8 advantage before the Spartans closed the gap to 17-16. A quick 5-1 response gave UChicago some breathing room and then the match victory at 25-21.
The Maroons hit for a .162 attack percentage (63 kills, 32 errors, 191 attempts), while serving up seven aces and collecting six blocks. Loe blasted 26 kills – the sixth time this season she has surpassed the 20-kill barrier. Junior setter Ragine Graves handed out 45 assists and was active defensively with 25 digs.
Case hit .130 as a team (40 kills, 20 errors, 154 attempts) with 10 blocks and five aces.
UChicago Stat Leaders
Maren Loe (Jr.) – 26 kills, 12 digs
Jasmine Mobley (Jr.) – 15 kills
Morgan Barry (Sr.) – 12 kills, 18 digs, 4 aces
Ragine Graves (Jr.) – 45 assists, 25 digs
Eirene Kim (Sr.) – 15 digs, 8 assists
UChicago 3, Washington-St. Louis 0 (25-22, 25-13, 25-21)
The next opponent was top seed Washington-St. Louis. Each time the Bears went up several points in the first set, the Maroons roared back to tie at 15-15, 20-20 and 22-22. Three unanswered points put UChicago up a set at 25-22.
The Maroons fired up the offense in the second set, hitting .382 with 14 kills and only one error. A 7-2 lead eventually ballooned to double digits at 21-11, and they finished off at 25-13.
With the championship match in sight, UChicago grabbed another early advantage at 12-8. Washington-St. Louis tied the proceedings at 15-15 and the score see-sawed until 20-20. Another three-point run put the Maroons in control and they completed the sweep, 25-21.
UChicago recorded its fourth-highest attack percentage of the year at .312 (44 kills, 9 errors, 112 attempts). The Maroons piled up eight more aces and four blocks defensively en route to their third victory in-a-row over WashU. The Bears were limited to a .185 attack percentage (42 kills, 20 errors, 119 attempts), to go with three aces and four blocks.
UChicago Stat Leaders
Maren Loe (Jr.) – 15 kills, 7 digs
Morgan Barry (Sr.) – 15 kills, 7 digs
Ragine Graves (Jr.) – 36 assists, 9 digs
Eirene Kim (Sr.) – 12 digs, 3 assists
- Saturday, November 8 – UChicago vs. Emory University (Pittsburgh, Pa.), 1:00 PM (ET)