CHICAGO – Inside the confines of the Ratner Athletics Center, the University of Chicago volleyball team sped through a 3-0 victory over Wheaton College and then continued the celebratory mood by honoring Frances McDonald on Senior Night.
The No. 25-ranked Maroons (12-3 record) stretched their win streak to six with Thursday's result. The Thunder fell to 3-11.
McDonald and her family gathered on the court at the conclusion of the match as the team capped the evening with flowers and a framed jersey for the senior outside hitter/defensive specialist. During her time at UChicago, the Maroons have amassed a 76-40 record (.655 winning percentage) and made two trips to the NCAA tournament.
UChicago 3, Wheaton 0 (25-13, 25-19, 25-21)
Sophomore outside hitter Anabella Pinton put away UChicago's first three kills of the match to set the tone. Then junior outside hitter Audrey Scrafford followed suit with three kills in-a-row to give her side an 8-6 lead.
The Maroons caught fire from there, going on an 8-1 run to push the advantage to 17-9. The hosts did not look back and sophomore middle hitter Madison Pearson ended the first set with a spike at 25-13. UChicago hit .314 as a team in the opening game.
The hosts began to create separation after the 13th point of the second set as a 9-3 run put them in control at 16-9. Three kills from junior rightside hitter Sarah Muisenga were featured in the run, along with four Wheaton attack errors.
However, the Thunder began closing the gap as the set progressed. They whittled the deficit down to 19-17. Scrafford's two kills and a double block from Muisenga and sophomore middle hitter Madeleine Bol brought up set point at 24-19. A subsequent setting error made it 25-19 and the Maroons were up two sets. Muisenga loomed large in the game with six kills.
The momentum remained on the Maroons' side as the third set began 9-2 in their favor. Once again, Wheaton steadily clawed back to within 14-10. The home team turned to its blocking to score points, forcing two attack errors and registering a double stuff to make it 18-10.
UChicago's offense experienced some hiccups down the stretch. The Thunder took advantage and cut the deficit down to 21-18. Scrafford subbed back onto the floor and immediately delivered a spike on the edge.
McDonald was on serve at 22-18, and consecutive kills by Muisenga and Pinton brought up match point. Three points later, Muisenga ended it with a kill at 25-21.
UChicago hit 22.8 percent for the match while limiting Wheaton to an 8.7 percent success rate offensively. The Maroons posted six blocks and four aces.
Muisenga recorded a double-double with 12 kills and 12 digs. Scrafford and Pinton tallied nine kills each. Freshman setter Emma Griffith collected 38 assists and six digs. Sophomore libero Anne Marie Stifter had a team-high 14 digs and McDonald finished with six digs.
- Saturday, Sept. 30 @ Noon / 2 PM (ET) – UChicago vs. Brandeis University / University of Rochester (at Cleveland, Ohio)