CHICAGO – The University of Chicago volleyball team made a successful home debut on Saturday, utilizing an efficient offense to win both ends of the Gargoyle Classic over Carthage College and Dominican University.
The Maroons improved their season record to 5-1.
UChicago 3, Carthage 0 (25-21, 25-15, 25-18)
The Maroons used a big-time comeback in the first set to grab momentum and strong play at the net contributed to a three-set sweep in Saturday's opener.
UChicago totaled 6.0 team blocks – led by sophomore middle hitter Madison Pearson's five block assists and one solo – to stymie the Carthage (4-2) offense. Sophomore outside hitter Anabella Pinton and freshman setter Emma Griffith added two block assists each to add to the front-line defense for the Maroons.
The Lady Reds took several leads early in the match before seeming in control with a four-point advantage at 21-17. That's when the Maroons rallied back, rattling off eight straight points – seven of them serviced by Pearson – to turn the tables and take the opening set.
Junior outside hitter Audrey Scrafford had three kills during that rally and sophomore middle hitter Madeleine Bol issued the exclamation point on set point with a big kill to give the win to the Maroons. UChicago didn't look back after that, controlling both the second and third sets with strong play on both offense and defense. The Maroons were particularly dominant in the second set, hitting .419 with no errors.
Junior rightside hitter Sarah Muisenga led the way with 11 kills and 14 digs and a .440 hitting percentage. Scrafford finished with 10 kills. Griffith dished out a match-high 33 assists and four players totaled double-digit dig numbers – senior outside hitter Frances McDonald with 15, Griffith with 12 and sophomore libero Anne Marie Stifter with a team-best 20.
UChicago finished with a .252 hitting percentage (41-9-127) while Carthage hit .143 in the match.
UChicago 3, Dominican 1 (23-25, 25-18, 25-19, 25-18)
A slow start bit the Maroons early as the Stars (2-5) ran out to an 8-1 lead in the opening set. The hosts then embarked on the slow march to cut the deficit and climbed all the way back to within 19-18 and then 24-23. But Dominican executed late and took the 1-0 lead.
Strong starts in the remaining three sets all went UChicago's way. The home side never trailed for the remainder of the match after taking leads of 7-2, 7-1 and 12-3 in the subsequent games. The Maroons hit over .300 in each of those sets and cruised to the victory.
The .301 team hitting percentage was the highest of the year (61-15-153). The defense also came through with 10 team blocks, which featured six block assists and one solo by Bol.
Griffith ran the defense effectively, putting up 49 assists while adding 17 digs. Scrafford and Muisenga tied for the team lead with 15 kills each. Pearson won a large number of points on her serve and tallied 12 kills on 25 attempts (.440). Sophomore outside hitter Anabella Pinton put 11 kills. Stifter and Muisenga finished with 16 and 15 digs, respectively.
- Tuesday, Sept. 12 @ 7:00 PM – UChicago at Illinois Wesleyan University