ELMHURST, Ill. – Make it wins No. 16 and 17 in a row for the third-ranked University of Chicago volleyball team, as the Maroons defeated both North Central College and Elmhurst on the road Saturday in a road tri-match.
UChicago (18-1) hasn't lost since opening day (back on August 30), as the Maroons continue to build on their program-record winning streak with Saturday's nonleague victories. That streak has included a win over then-ranked No. 1 Calvin (current rank, No. 2) on Sept. 18.
University Athletic Association foe and 2018 NCAA Division National Champion Emory still stands atop the national poll at 16-1. UChicago and the Eagles face off next Sunday in UAA Round Robin #3 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Before that, though, UChicago will host No. 4 Carthage in an important regional contest Tuesday at the Ratner Athletics Center.
#3 UCHICAGO 3, NORTH CENTRAL 0 (25-12, 25-10, 25-20)
The Maroons had little trouble with the Cardinals (5-17) in Saturday's opener.
UChicago hit .250 in the first set and then a stellar .519 (15 kills, one error), while holding the Cardinals to negative attack percentages in the opening two sets. In Set 2, UChicago opened up a 11-1 lead behind seven-straight serves by Katherine Wilson.
In a closer Set 3, it was Temilade Adekoya (five kills) who helped put the match away with two-straight kills to end deciding game.
Anne Marie Stifter led the Maroons offense with nine kills and 11 digs, Mikayla Hardy and Madison Pearson had seven kills each and Ellie Alden added six kills in a balanced attack, directed by 33 assists from Emma Griffith.
Three Maroons tallied double-digit digs – Stifter, Griffith (16) and Wilson (12) – and the UChicago block was solid, recording 10 block assists to NCC's six. Fredericka Paulson, Alden, and Stifter had two each.
#3 UCHICAGO 3, ELMHURST 1 (25-17, 26-28, 25-18, 25-12)
The Bluejays (8-13) took a set from the Maroons in a tight Set 2, but UChicago responded with dominating performances in Sets 3 and 4 to cruise to its 17th-straight win.
The Maroons did not commit an attack error in a flawless fourth set, swinging for a .343 attack percentage with 12 kills.
It was Stifter again who led the offense, but this time the senior swung for a match-best 18 kills (.268) to go along with 10 digs for the double-double. Paulson added 14 kills (.225) and 21 digs and the rookie Alden had six kills, five block assists, a solo block and four digs for the Maroons.
Griffith nearly hit the half-century mark with a match-best 47 assists (plus 22 digs, four block assists) and Wilson led the back line with 27 digs.
The Maroons were dominant at the net against the host Bluejays, totaling 12 block assists and two solo blocks while holding Elmhurst to just two and one, respectively.
UChicago showed its meddle in the fourth set – opening with an early 10-3 they would not relinquish.
- Tuesday, Oct. 15: #4 Carthage at #3 UChicago, 7 PM CT