ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The University of Chicago volleyball team forced a marathon of a third set in its fight for a title, but ultimately top-seeded Emory proved to be too good on Saturday, as the Maroons fell in three sets in the league title match.
The Eagles (24-6) defeated the Maroons (28-4) by scores of 25-23, 25-20 and 33-31 in the University Athletic Association Championship held at the University of Rochester.
The first set proved to be near-even.
Emory held a slight edge early, but the Maroons battled back to tie the opener at 15-all to set up a thrilling next 10 points. After the Eagles built a 21-18 lead, UChicago battled back with two kills by Pearson and another by Stifter to pull within one again at 21-20. But Emory would record the next three points to recapture the momentum and win Set 1.
UChicago came out fired up in Set 2, building a 10-6 lead to force an Emory timeout. But the Eagles used a 11-1 run out of the break to regain control en route to a five-point victory in the second set.
A 13-6 opening lead in the final game appeared to favor the Maroons, who would go on to lead 20-15. But the Eagles would not be denied in the sweep and made a 7-1 run to pull within one at 22-21. UChicago's Audrey Scrafford would put down the kill for the next point to get the Maroons to game point, but neither team would fold down the stretch.
In total, Set 3 featured eight game points before Emory finally closed out their crown with a Karissa Dzurik kill at 33-31.
Anabella Pinton added eight kills, Scrafford had seven, and Audra Berg totaled the lone block of the day, a solo. The taller Emory squad took advantage at the net, recording 20 block assists and two solo blocks.
The 10th-ranked Maroons will now await an at-large bid in the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament, with the selection show set for Monday at 11:30 a.m. CT.
Regionals begin Nov. 8-9 with host sites, opponents and match times to be announced Monday.