DECTATUR, Ind. – The No. 8 University of Chicago volleyball team pulled off its biggest comeback of the season in Saturday's opener and then stayed strong to win its final match in two wins at Millikin's Dig for the Cure Tournament Saturday.
The Maroons (21-2) won their 20th and 21st games of the year with a 3-2 win over No. 15 Wisconsin-Eau Claire – UChicago's fifth win over a ranked team this season – and then beat host Millikin, 3-1.
UCHICAGO 3, #15 UW-EAU CLAIRE 2
(17-25, 20-25, 25-20, 25-22, 15-11)
The Maroons found themselves in a 2-0 hole in the day's opener, but UChicago found its reserve and regained control of the final three sets, winning the final over the Bluegolds (17-2) by four points.
Sophomore setter Emma Griffith directed the Maroons offense with 41 assists and added 16 digs and three service aces, with teammates Sarah Muisenga (17 kills) and Anne Marie Stifter (14 kills) benefiting the most at the net.
Muisenga, who recently surpassed the 1,000-kill mark for her career, hit an efficient .341, committing just three errors in 41 attempts. She added 12 digs and two block assists. Five Maroons had double-digit dig numbers, with Katherine Wilson (13 digs), Temilade Adekoya (11 digs) and Stifter (10 digs) contributing to the offense.
The Maroons also put up a fight defensively at the net, recording 12.5 team blocks compared to 12.0 for UWEC. Karina Kling (five block assists), Madison Pearson (four block assists and two solo blocks to go along with seven kills) and Griffith (four block assists) led the charge against UWEC'S three main attackers: Madelyn Pashibin (19 kills), Abby Volk (12 kills) and Makenzie Bachmann (13 kills).
After hitting for a negative percentage in the opening set, UChicago would go on to hit .244, .235, .135, and in the fifth and deciding set – a stellar .429 – while holding the Bluegolds under .130 for the remaining three sets.
Also of note was the play of senior Audrey Scrafford, who had four of her seven kills in the final set for the Maroons.
UCHICAGO 3, MILLIKIN 1
(15-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-21)
After falling behind in the match with an early Set 1 loss, the Maroons pulled off their second comeback of the day with a four-set win over the host Big Blue (9-12).
The offensive leader in the Maroons' second match proved to be junior Anabella Pinton, who contributed a match-high 17 kills with just two errors (.366) and teammate Anne Marie Stifter added 13 kills and 15 digs. Emma Griffith distributed 35 assists and had 12 digs and libero Katherine Wilson led the way defensively with 23 digs.
Millikin suprised the Maroons early, swinging for a .259 percentage for 19 kills in the opening set which they won easily. But UChicago responded in Set 2 and never looked back en route to its 21st win of the year.
Madison Pearson added seven kills, eight digs and three block assists and Sarah Muisenga chipped in six kills for UChicago, who also had four players with double-digit dig numbers, with Temilade Adekoya (13 digs) contributing.
- Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 13-14: UChicago at UAA Round Robin #2 (at Pittsburgh, Pa.)