EAU CLAIRE, Wis. – The No. 1-ranked University of Chicago volleyball team saw its program-record 23-match win streak come to an end with Saturday's inopportune road loss at host Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
The top-ranked Maroons (24-2) fell by scores of 25-23, 21-25, 17-25, and 22-25 in just the second loss of the year for UChicago and the first since opening day back on August 30.
Senior Madison Pearson had a team-high 14 kills (.414) to go with three block assists, classmate Anne Marie Stifter added 11 kills and 16 digs, Mikayla Hardy recorded 12 kills and 14 digs and junior Emma Griffith dished out 43 assists to lead the Maroons.
Despite an opening set win that saw UChicago record an attack percentage of .205, host UWEC (20-8) – itself riding a 10-match win streak – bounced back and dominated play at the net the next three sets.
The Blugolds hit for percentages of .256, .304, and .292 in the final three sets, while holding the Maroons – who average .227 per set – to marks of .128, .151 and .196. A big reason was UWEC's block. The hosts recorded 16 block assists – five by Krista Meyer and four by Arianna Barrett (21 kills) – compared to just eight for the visitors.
UWEC also defended the court, recording a match-high 92 digs.
Katherine Wilson led UChicago with 20 digs and Griffith had 16 for the Maroons, who finished with 82.
The Maroons concluded the regular season with Saturday's setback and will open the 2019 University Athletic Association Championship as the No. 1 seed. The two-day tournament is set for Nov. 8-9 at the Ratner Athletics Center in Chicago.
- Friday, Nov. 8 (UAA Opening Round): (1) UChicago vs. (8) Rochester, 12 p.m. CT