CHICAGO – The University of Chicago volleyball team posted a historic win at day two of the Gargoyle Classic on Saturday. The Maroons (4-0) defeated No. 3-ranked Hope College 3-2 in a five-set match for the first time in school history. Earlier in the day, UChicago also swept Aurora University 3-0.
UChicago 3, Aurora 0 (25-23, 25-14, 25-23)
The first set was a tight affair, with the score tied late at 19-19. Aurora scored four-straight points to get ahead 23-20, but UChicago took the set with five-straight points of its own. Loe contributed three kills in that ending run.
The Maroons opened up an 8-2 lead in the second set, with Loe serving up three aces. UChicago kept it up from there and easily took the set 25-14 while only allowing six Aurora kills.
The third set was close once again. A 5-1 run late put UChicago up 23-18 and a block by sophomore middle blocker/outside hitter Taylor David ended the match.
UChicago hit .262 overall (46 kills, 14 errors, 122 attempts) while staying sharp on serve with 10 aces. Loe produced five of the aces while adding a double-double of 19 kills and 11 digs. Junior middle blocker Katie LaPorte scored seven kills on only 11 attempts. Graves directed the offense to the tune of 34 assists while adding nine digs defensively. Aurora hit .202 (37-13-119) in the match.
UChicago Stat Leaders
Maren Loe (Sr.) – 19 kills, 5 aces, 11 digs
Jasmine Mobley (Sr.) – 9 kills
Katie LaPorte (Jr.) – 7 kills, 2 aces
Ragine Graves (Sr.) – 34 assists, 9 digs
UChicago 3, Hope 2 (23-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-27, 15-7)
The final opponent of the weekend was the defending NCAA champion Hope Flying Dutch. In the previous five meetings all-time between the two teams, Hope came away with the victory each time.
Saturday's match played very evenly all throughout the first four sets. UChicago looked to take the early lead when the Maroons gained a 22-19 advantage. But Hope countered and scored the final four points to take the opening set 25-23.
The Maroons flipped the script in the second set after finding themselves down 20-14. Junior libero Mary Claire Tuohy served up a pair of aces and Loe took over offensively. The senior scored six kills down the stretch, including the set winner at 25-23 to complete the rally.
Three kills by Mobley near the end of the third set proved critical as UChicago earned the advantage, 25-21. The home side hit for a .292 clip in the set. However, the fourth set swung back in Hope's favor. The teams were tied at 25-25 when a kill and a block by the visitors forced a deciding fifth set, 27-25.
In the deciding set, UChicago jumped out fast 9-3. Hope struggled with seven attack errors and the Maroons finished off the big victory, 15-7.
Graves drove the offense with 51 assists – the third-highest assist total in her career. She was also a ball magnet defensively with a team-best 27 digs. Loe's offensive hot streak continued with 26 kills to go with 15 digs and four blocks. Mobley set a new career-high with 21 kills herself. Freshman libero Brooke Watson and junior setter/hitter Erin Risk each collected new career-highs in digs with 24 and 15, respectively.
The final stats were very similar with a .195 to .169 hitting advantage for UChicago. Each team had 100 digs and combined for 19 aces. The Maroons tallied nine team blocks compared to four team blocks by the Flying Dutch.
UChicago Stat Leaders
Maren Loe (Sr.) – 26 kills, 15 digs, 4 blocks
Jasmine Mobley (Sr.) – 21 kills, 4 digs
Ragine Graves (Sr.) – 51 assists, 27 digs, 2 aces
Brooke Watson (Fr.) – 24 digs, 7 assists, 2 aces
Erin Risk (Jr.) – 15 digs
- Friday, September 11 – UChicago at Aurora University Jim Coleman Memorial Classic, 4 PM / 6 PM