No. 4 Washington-St. Louis Hits .466 in Win Over Rochester

10/4/2008

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PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Turning in its most solid offensive performance of the season, the No. 4 Washington University volleyball team opened University Athletic Association (UAA) round robin play with a 3-1 win over the University of Rochester on Saturday afternoon, in Pittsburgh, Pa. The Bears hit a season-best .466 as a team in the win, which included a blistering .750 in the 25-9 first-set win.

Senior Alli Alberts led the Washington U. attack for the second-straight match. She recorded a team-high 14 kills against the Yellowjackets, hitting .429. Alberts was not the only Bear to register stellar offensive statistics on Saturday. Senior right side attacker Nikki Morrison converted on eight of her nine attack attempts, committing no errors to hit .889, and freshman middle hitter Erin Kasson had seven kills on eight attempts, for an attack percentage of .875.

The Bears got off to fast starts in both its first and second set victories, scoring the first six points of the first frame and the first eight of the second. At one point during the team's second-set win, WU led Rochester, 14-1, and only two of the Yellowjackets' eight second-set points came from a source other than an unforced Washington U. error.

With a 2-0 lead in the match, the Bears made several lineup adjustments heading into the third set. The players on the floor struggled to find their rhythm early in the third frame, but nearly erased a large deficit in the end. Trailing by eight points, 12-4, the Red and Green mounted a comeback and tied the score at 24-24 on a kill from freshman middle hitter Brittany Mikottis.

However, WU never managed to get completely over the plateau and take a lead, and the team lost 27-25. The Bears hit just .125 in he third frame, committing seven attacking errors, whereas the team combined for just two errors in the other three sets. Getting back to business in the fourth frame, the Red and Green hit .538, tallying 14 kills on 26 attempts. Morrison was a perfect 4-for-4 attacking in the final set.

Junior libero Laura Brazeal reeled in a team-high 14 digs, while freshman Tricia Brandt ended the match with 12 digs. Senior setter Audra Janak finished with 34 assists, five kills and four digs. The Bears had seven total team blocks.

Washington University (13-4) will conclude action in the first UAA round robin of the year at Skibo Gymnasium on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Sunday, Oct. 5. The Bears will face Case Western Reserve University at 9 a.m. (ET), and Carnegie Mellon at 11:30 a.m. (ET).

Article courtesy of Washington-St. Louis athletics.

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