UChicago volleyball beats Brandeis, falls to Carnegie Mellon at UAA Championship

Sarah Muisenga and Audrey Scrafford
Sarah Muisenga and Audrey Scrafford

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The University of Chicago volleyball team swept Brandeis University while its rally fell short in a five-set loss to Carnegie Mellon University at the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship on Friday.

The Maroons moved to 18-10 on the season and will next place in Saturday's third-place match versus host Washington University-St. Louis. The Judges dropped to 7-19 and the No. 21-ranked Tartans improved to 25-6.

UChicago 3, Brandeis 0 (25-14, 25-14, 25-16)

The first match of the day featured the No. 1-seed Maroons versus the No. 8-seed Judges. UChicago earned the top seed in the tournament thanks to a 7-0 conference record.

The Maroons jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the opening set and never looked back. A 6-0 run shortly afterwards blew it open and UChicago's biggest lead came at 22-9. The set ended soon after at 25-14.

A 9-3 advantage in the second set put the Maroons in control and they led by at least eight points from the midpoint of the set onwards. UChicago took the second set by an identical 25-14 score.

The third set played out in much closer fashion, with Brandeis trailing by a single point at 14-13. But the Maroons embarked on a 10-1 run from that point on to clinch the sweep, 25-16. Freshman middle hitter Madison Pearson served up three-straight aces during the decisive point streak.

Overall, UChicago hit .309 (40 kills, 10 errors, 97 attempts) with seven aces. Brandeis was limited to a .038 hitting percentage (24-20-104). Sophomore rightside hitter Sarah Muisenga led the team with 11 kills and Pearson added eight kills on 12 swings.

UChicago Stat Leaders
Sarah Muisenga (So.) – 11 kills, 7 digs, 2 blocks
Madison Pearson (Fr.) – 8 kills, 3 aces, 2 blocks
Erin Risk (Sr.) – 32 assists, 6 digs
Mary Claire Tuohy (Sr.) – 15 digs

Carnegie Mellon 3, UChicago 2 (28-26, 25-21, 22-25, 19-25, 15-11)

UChicago's second opponent of the day was No. 4-seed Carnegie Mellon. The opening set was a back-and-forth battle all the way through. After going down 12-9, UChicago got hot and went ahead 16-13 with three aces served up along the way. The Maroons held set point at 24-22. But CMU rallied back hard and stole the set 28-26 with an ace to close it out. Late in the second set, the Tartans led 21-20 before scoring the next three points and then ending it at 25-21.

Facing a two-set deficit, UChicago swung the momentum back to its side. A four-point run midway through the third set gave the Maroons a 17-14 edge. Holding a narrow 22-21 lead, they tallied their next three points on kills to halve the deficit, 25-22.

UChicago ran out to a big lead right off the bat at 9-2. Muisenga got the ball rolling with a kill followed by two aces to start the fourth set. CMU rallied right back to tie at 10-10, but the Maroons answered with seven-straight points. The top seed held sway from there and forced a deciding fifth set, 25-19.

In the fifth set, Carnegie Mellon took leads of 6-2 and 10-5. UChicago got within three points at 13-10 before the Tartans secured the victory, 15-11.

Sophomore outside hitter Audrey Scrafford tied her career high with 25 kills, while Muisenga set a new career best with 22 kills. She also added 20 digs. Senior setter Erin Risk posted 46 assists and 18 digs. Senior libero Mary Claire Tuohy paced the defense with a season-high 40 digs.

The Maroons recorded a .159 hitting percentage (68-30-239) and served 14 aces. The Tartans hit .203 (62-20-207).

UChicago Stat Leaders
Audrey Scrafford (So.) – 25 kills, 4 digs
Sarah Muisenga (So.) – 22 kills, 20 digs, 3 aces
Erin Risk (Sr.) – 46 assists, 18 digs
Mary Claire Tuohy (Sr.) – 40 digs, 5 assists, 3 aces
Jessica Wang (So.) – 18 digs, 4 aces


  • Saturday, Nov. 5 – UChicago at Washington University-St. Louis (UAA Championship), 10 AM