CHICAGO – The University of Chicago volleyball team opened its season schedule as the host of the two-day Gargoyle Classic. The Maroons went 1-1 in Friday's action with a win over Rockford University and a loss to Millikin University.
UChicago 3, Rockford 0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-8)
The Maroons struggled to find a rhythm at the match's onset. Errors and lack of execution put the home team behind 9-2. Once UChicago got sophomore outside hitter Audrey Scrafford into the rotation, the Maroons began to turn things around and improved on both ends. The Maroons turned a 12-5 deficit into a 13-12 lead, with Scrafford providing three kills in the run. The hosts then took nine of the last 10 points to win the set, 25-18.
In the second set, UChicago began to take advantage of Rockford's service reception, posting three aces in its opening five points. The Maroons built a 10-2 lead and didn't allow the Regents within five points the rest of the way. The home team put the match away with a stellar third set and ran away to an 18-4 advantage. The Maroons hit .345 in the set and completed the win, 25-8.
UChicago ended up hitting .252 (44 kills, 14 errors, 119 attempts) for the match. The Maroons added in 69 digs and one block while serving up eight aces. Rockford was limited to a .000 hitting percentage (18-18-114) with 54 digs, five blocks and one ace.
UChicago Stat Leaders
Sarah Muisenga (So.) – 10 kills, 12 digs, 2 aces
Katie LaPorte (Sr.) – 10 kills
Audrey Scrafford (So.) – 9 kills
Erin Risk (Sr.) – 39 assists, 13 digs
Jessica Wang (So.) – 16 digs, 3 aces, 3 assists
Millikin 3, UChicago 1 (20-25, 25-16, 25-18, 25-23)
In the nightcap, the Big Blue went ahead 9-6 and 13-10 before UChicago rattled off three-straight points to tie it. The visitors did an effective job on the outside block with their height advantage as the Maroons probed for areas to attack. With the score tied 18-18, Scrafford split the defense with a lob right into the heart of the defense over the top of the block to give the home side a lead. The Maroons took the next three points to give themselves a 22-18 cushion. Sophomore outside hitter Sarah Muisenga finished off the first set with back-to-back kills to make the score 25-20. She tallied five kills in the set.
Millikin's offense flexed its muscle in the second set as the Big Blue did not make an attacking error and hit .455 as a team. A close 18-15 advantage quickly expanded when Millikin scored six-straight points to even the match up, 25-16. The Big Blue's front line defenders continued to bother the Maroons in the third set, and UChicago struggled to produce quality passes and offensive chances. The visitors went up 12-6 and then 20-10, before winning the set 25-18.
The fourth set was nip and tuck all the way through as neither side would let the other gain momentum. Facing a 23-20 deficit, UChicago drew closer to within one at 24-23. But the Big Blue ended the match on a kill, 25-23.
For the match, the Maroons hit .124 as a team (41 kills, 20 errors, 170 attempts) and their four aces were offset by 11 service errors. UChicago's dig count ended up at 87 along with four blocks. Sophomore Jessica Wang served as the primary libero and set a new career high with 25 digs.
Millikin posted a .197 hitting percentage (51-17-173) with seven aces, eight service errors, 96 digs and seven blocks.
UChicago Stat Leaders
Sarah Muisenga (So.) – 11 kills, 15 digs
Audrey Scrafford (So.) – 11 kills, 4 digs
Erin Risk (Sr.) – 32 assists, 15 digs, 2 aces, 2 blocks
Jessica Wang (So.) – 25 digs, 3 assists
- Saturday, Sept. 3 – University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire at UChicago, 11 AM / Calvin College at UChicago, 1:30 PM