CHICAGO – On a night for celebrating an historic senior class, the No. 1-ranked University of Chicago volleyball team took care of business with a 3-0 sweep over visiting Wheaton College Wednesday at the Ratner Athletics Center.
The Maroons (22-1) – who keep building on their school record with 21 match wins in a row – beat the Thunder (13-11) by scores of 25-21, 25-13, and 25-17.
Seniors Anne Marie Stifter (10 kills, 10 digs, three block assists) and Madison Pearson (eight kills, three block assists) set the tone early with four kills each in opening set, as the Maroons hit .294 and held the Thunder to .105 from the attack line. UChicago then took control in the second game, jumping out to a 10-1 lead.
First-year Ellie Alden (seven kills, two block assists) put the exclamation point on a furious rally that led to that 10th point and ensuing Thunder timeout, as the rookie crushed a kill after a diving Emma Griffith set to put UChicago in the driver's seat early.
Sophomore Temilade Adekoya (10 kills, eight digs) had a big second set, leading the Maroons with five kills and five digs in a game where the hosts were never threatened and saw 11 players see the floor. In Set 3, Wheaton did not go down easily.
The Thunder opened the third contest with a 7-3 lead, before Adekoya helped bring the Maroons back with her seven-serve run that included an ace and helped UChicago re-take the lead at 11-8.
Later in the set, Alden again provided a thundering kill off a bad Thunder serve reception to make it 19-14 UChicago and force another Wheaton timeout. Adekoya had three kills in the final points to help seal it for the Maroons.
Griffith dished out 34 assists and added two block assists and a solo block for the Maroons and libero Katherine Wilson led in digs with 14.
UChicago hit .340 for the match compared to .120 for the Thunder.
The Maroons senior class of Stifter, Pearson and Anabella Pinton continue to build on their career win record with Wednesday's win making No. 92 over the course of their four seasons (and counting). To wrap up the regular season, UChicago travels to Holland, Mich., this Saturday with two road contests and then faces UW-Eau Claire Nov. 2 on the road.
The Maroons will host the 2019 University Athletic Association Championship at the Ratner Center Nov. 8-9.
- Saturday, Sept. 26: UChicago vs. Hope/UChicago vs. Alma (at Holland, Mich.). 4 p.m./6 p.m. ET