No. 4 Washington-St. Louis Falls to University of Missouri-St. Louis, 3-2

10/22/2008

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. - The fourth ranked Washington University volleyball team dropped a five-set match to NCAA Division II University of Missouri-St. Louis (25-16, 23-25, 25-20, 22-25, 15-10) on Susan G. Komen Dig for the Cure night at the WU Field House in St. Louis, Mo., on Wednesday evening.
 
Participating in the nationwide Dig for the Cure program to benefit the Susan G. Komen For the Cure network of St. Louis, fan and other supporting donations were made for each dig the Bears recorded in Wednesday night's match with the Tritons. Fortunately the match lasted into the fifth set and Washington U. tallied 62 digs, with three Bears reaching double-digits.

Junior defensive specialist Laura Brazeal led the way for the Red and Green with 14 digs, while freshman libero Tricia Brandt had 13 and freshman setter Lauren Budde recorded a career-high 10. Between the WU dig program and additional donations made by fans in attendance, it is estimated Washington University raised more than $3,000 to benefit breast cancer research and awareness.

The competition itself was a back and forth affair with Missouri-St. Louis coming out on top in the end. Washington U., which was playing without a pair of senior starters, setter Audra Janak and outside hitter Alli Alberts, hit .170 in the loss.

UMSL started strong and won the first set by nine points, but the Bears rebounded with a come-from-behind second-set victory. Trailing, 23-19, Washington University scored six-unanswered points to take the second frame. A solo block by freshman middle hitter Erin Kasson knotted the score at 23-23, senior right side Nikki Morrison hammered home a kill to give WU a one-point lead, and Brazeal sealed the win with an ace on the ensuing play.

Washington U. hit .031 in the third-set defeat, but the team managed to shake off the setback and open a 10-2 lead to start the fourth frame. Missouri-St. Louis rallied from the large deficit, cutting the score to 16-13, but a block assist by Kasson and Morrison, the Bears' fourth team block of the frame, shifted the momentum back to the Red and Green's favor and WU went on to a 25-22 win.

The seesaw trend continued in the fifth set as the Tritons hit .333 as a team with 12 kills to grab a five-point win. It was Missouri-St. Louis' first win over Washington University since the 1989 season and it improved to 9-15 all time against the Bears.

Making her first-career start at setter, Budde recorded a double-double, also the first of her career, with 39 assists and 10 digs. Junior middle hitter Erin Albers and Morrison paced the WU offensive. Both attackers tallied a team-high 11 kills, but Albers hit a team-best .360 with just a pair of attack errors.

Washington U. (22-6) returns to action on Friday, Oct. 31, when it hosts the two-day Bears Classic Tournament at the WU Field House in St. Louis, Mo. The tournament mark's the team's final action of the regular season, and the Bears will face Concordia University and Culver-Stockton College on Friday evening. The team will celebrate Senior Night prior to the match with Culver-Stockton, where seniors Alberts, Ali Crouch, Janak and Morrison will be honored.

Article courtesy of Washington-St. Louis athletics.
 

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