CHICAGO – The No. 8 University of Chicago volleyball team continued its hot start to the season with a dominant Saturday at the Ratner Athletics Center, as the Maroons won their seventh- & eighth-straight matches, downing both Dubuque and North Park.
Since losing a three-set match to Wisconsin-Stevens Point in the team's second match of the year, the Maroons have won 24 of 26 sets played and made quick work of Saturday's competition: taking down the Spartans in four and the Vikings in a hour-long, three-set contest.
Sophomore Emma Griffith was again stellar in running the Maroons' offensive attack totaling 91 assists across the two matches with teammates Fredericka Paulson (25 kills), Madison Pearson (24 kills), Anne Marie Stifter (20 kills) and Ellie Alden (19 kills) reaping the benefits.
UChicago will host a big match this Wednesday, with No. 2 Calvin (Mich.) coming to the Ratner Atheltics Center for a 6 p.m. NCAA Top 10 matchup.
UCHICAGO 3, DUBUQUE 1 (25-17, 25-20, 29-31, 25-20)
The Maroons opened Saturday against their 2018 NCAA Division III First Round opponent in the Spartans and quickly jumped out to a comfortable 2-0 lead. Dubuque wouldn't go down easily, though, outlasting UChicago in a battle of a third set, 31-29.
The win didn't stall the Maroons' momentum. Tied at 15-all, Madison Pearson's serve would give her team the advantage, as the senior rattled off six-straight serves – which included an ace and an Ellie Alden kill – to force the Spartans to call a timeout. By the time the dust had settled, though, UChicago led 19-15.
Fredericka Paulson – who led the Maroons with 16 kills in the match – would later send home the exclamation point on the match-point kill to seal the win for the hosts.
Paulson added 18 digs, three block assists and two solo blocks and three other Maroons totaled double-digit kill numbers: Pearson had 13 (three block assists), and Alden (two block assists) and Anne Marie Stifter (18 digs) each had 10.
Griffith recorded 50 of daily assists against the Spartans to go with 13 digs and five service aces and libero Katherine Wilson defended the floor to the tune of 28 digs.
UCHICAGO 3, NORTH PARK 0 (25-12, 25-16, 25-17)
UChicago made quick work of the visiting Vikings in the day's final match, exploding for a 15-kill, 2-error performance in Set 1 (.560 attack percentage).
The Maroons hit a stellar .449 for the match and held North Park to just .085 in another balanced team effort, led offensively by Madison Pearson (11 kills, four block assists), Anne Marie Stifter (10 kills, nine digs), and Fredericka Paulson and Ellie Alden (nine kills each).
Griffith finished with 41 assists in the shortened match and added nine digs.
- Wednesday, Sept. 18: #2 Calvin at 8 UChicago, 6PM CT