CLEVELAND, Ohio – For the second time this season, the University of Chicago volleyball team defeated the nation's No. 1-team in four sets: Sunday, the Maroons took down No. 1 Emory to capture the regular-season University Athletic Association championship.
With an earlier 3-0 win over Rochester, No. 3-ranked UChicago (21-1, 7-0 UAA) effectively earns the top-seed seed heading into the 2019 UAA Volleyball Championship, set for Nov. 8-9 in Chicago.
UChicago also defeated previously-ranked No. 1 Calvin (Mich.) back on Sept. 18, 3-1.
#3 UCHICAGO 3, #1 EMORY 1 (25-22, 26-28, 25-23, 25-19)
The Maroons set the tone for Sunday's win over the No. 1 Eagles (19-2, 6-1) with a big Set 1 comeback. UChicago trailed 18-12 (and later 21-14) in the opener, before enacting a 10-4 run that tied the match at 22-all.
Madison Pearson served six key points during that run, including two service aces to turn the tide. Anne Marie Stifter (two kills) and Fredericka Paulson (set point kill) then delivered the offense down the stretch to give the Maroons' a 1-0 lead.
UChicago had a big lead in Set 2, leading 18-12 with what appeared to be a 2-0 lead in sight. But the Eagles didn't give in, rattling off a 7-1 run to tie the match and even the match at 2-all with a 28-26 Set 2 win.
Set 3 proved to be close throughout, but the Maroons played clean and took advantage of several Emory attack errors down the stretch, as Pearson put the third set away with kill. It was all UChicago in Set 4, as the Maroons swung for a .351 attack percentage (17 kills, four errors) to come out on top in a big-time match in Cleveland.
Four Maroons had double-digit kill numbers: Pearson with 15 (three block assists and one solo block), Mikayla Hardy with 13 (15 digs), Stifter with 12 (18 digs) and Paulson with 10.
Junior Emma Griffith delivered 49 assists and had 10 digs and Katherine Wilson led the back line with 21 digs. The Maroons owned the net against the Eagles, totaling 12 block assists and two solo blocks in comparison to six and two for Emory.
For the match, UChicago hit .304 compared to .226 for Emory.
#3 UCHICAGO 3, ROCHESTER 0 (25-14, 25-18, 25-20)
In the day's first match, the Maroons had little trouble with Rochester (8-17, 0-6) in an morning tune-up. UChicago opened the match with a .464 attack percentage in Set 1 and didn't look back, winning the three-setter in just over an hour.
Madison Pearson added seven kills, seven digs and three block assists and the Maroons hit .219 for the match while holding the Yellowjackets to .070.
- Wednesday, Oct. 23: Wheaton at #3 UChicago (Senior Night), 6 p.m. CT