No. 4 Washington-St. Louis Wins Two at UAA Championship


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ST. LOUIS, Mo. - The No. 4 Washington University volleyball team got off to a fast start at the 2008 University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship Tournament on Friday, Nov. 7, at the WU Field House in St. Louis, Mo., picking up sweeps over New York University and Case Western Reserve University.

The Bears will conclude action in the four-team UAA Championship Pool B against Carnegie Mellon University on Saturday, Nov. 8, at 9 a.m. If they Bears defeat the Tartans, they will advance to the UAA Championship match, scheduled to take place in the WU Field House on Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m.

Washington U. has won 18 UAA Championships and participated in 20 of the 21 UAA title matches in conference history.

The Red and Green fell to Emory University, 3-2, in the 2007 UAA Championship match, held in Rochester, N.Y. Washington University and Emory have met in each of the last four UAA Championship matches, splitting the decisions with two wins apiece.

Friday morning's victory over New York was not the most consistent win of the year for the Bears, but Washington U. did manage to pick up the sweep. A strong serving run by junior libero Laura Brazeal broke open the first set for WU, propelling them to a 15-8 lead, and the Bears put away the frame with back-to-back aces from senior outside hitter Alli Alberts.

Behind four kills from both senior outside hitter Ali Crouch and senior right side Nikki Morrison, the Red and Green picked up a 25-18 win in the second set. Washington U. jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the third frame and went on to another 25-18 win, thanks in large part to NYU mistakes. The Bears tallied just seven kills in the third-set win, but still earned a seven-point victory.

Washington U. hit .214 as a team against the Violets, and Morrison recorded a team-high eight kills. Senior setter Audra Janak had a double-double with 18 assists and 11 digs, and the Bears notched nine team blocks.

The offense had more flow to it in Washington University's win over Case Western Reserve on Friday afternoon, and WU hit over .300 as a team in two of the three sets. A different Bear got hot in each of the three frames; junior middle hitter Erin Albers converted 5-of-6 attacks in the 25-18 win in the first set, freshman outside hitter Kristen Thomas notched five kills in a 25-10 second-set win, and Morrison posted five kills in the third frame in which WU hit .382 as a team.

Morrison led the team in kills again, finishing with 11 against the Spartans, also boasting a hitting percentage of .529. Albers hit .700 in the match with seven kills on 10 attacks, and Janak had her second double-double of the day with 37 assists and 11 digs. Alberts led the defensive effort with 16 digs, also totaling eight kills.

Article courtesy of Washington-St. Louis athletics.


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