ROCHESTER, N.Y. – A wild first-set win helped build important momentum for the University of Chicago volleyball team, as the Maroons would go on to defeat rival Washington-St. Louis, 3-1, in Friday's University Athletic Association Championship semifinals.
The second-seeded Maroons (28-3) defeated the third-seed Bears (23-7) by scores of 25-23, 20-25, 25-12, and 25-22 to advance to their first UAA title game since 2014. UChicago will take on the top-seed, Emory, in Saturday's final.
Match time is set for 12 p.m. CT at the University of Rochester's Louis Alexander Palestra.
Three players totaled double-digit kill numbers for the Maroons, as Anabella Pinton (14 kills, .351), Anne Marie Stifter (13 kills, 13 digs, three block assists) and Sarah Muisenga (13 kills, .242) led the way offensively. Sophomore Emma Griffith delivered 42 assists and added 13 digs and Katherine Wilson (13 digs), and Temilade Adekoya (10 digs) rounded out UChicago's leaders.
The first set versus Washington-St. Louis proved pivotal.
UChicago seemed to be in control early with a 19-15 lead, but saw that lead disappear with an 8-1 run by the Bears that put WashU in control with a 23-20 lead. UChicago, however, dug deep: the Maroons, led by two kills from first-year Audra Berg and a kill each from Muisenga and Pinton scored the next five points to take the match in thrilling fashion.
WashU would answer with a 25-20 Set 2 win, but UChicago provided an even bigger punch in Set 3, holding the Bears to -0.54 attack percentage in its 25-12 win. That set stood tied at 6-all before UChicago went on a 14-4 run.
The Bears led Set 4, 9-4, but UChicago again stormed back to tie it at 12-all before sealing it late with a Stifter kill on match point.
- Saturday, Nov. 3: UChicago vs. Emory, 12 p.m. CT (UAA Championship Game at Rochester, N.Y.)