Volleyball goes perfect 5-0, beats No. 10 Illinois Wesleyan, No. 13 Carthage

Dorian DeBose | Senior Sports Editor

After stumbling out of the gate in its first weekend of play, the Washington University volleyball team game hit its stride this week. After defeating No. 10 Illinois Wesleyan University Wednesday night, the Bears hosted four opponents during this weekend’s Bear Invite and dispatched all of them in turn, including a trio of 3-0 sweeps and a victory over No. 13 Carthage College.

Sophomore Kirby Knapp sets up teammate Abby Li for a kill against Nebraska Wesleyan. Knapp had 23 assists Friday in the first of four Wash. U. wins at the Bear Invite this weekend.Grace Bruton | Student Life

Sophomore Kirby Knapp sets up teammate Abby Li for a kill against Nebraska Wesleyan. Knapp had 23 assists Friday in the first of four Wash. U. wins at the Bear Invite this weekend.

The Bears took on Nebraska Wesleyan Friday and made quick work of the Prairie Wolves after their tough five-setter against Illinois Wesleyan on Wednesday. Wash. U. won in three sets, none decided by fewer than 8 points. After the win, the Bears then took on the Birmingham-Southern Panthers. The Panthers were undefeated entering the match and fought the Bears closely for two sets, losing narrowly. The last set was a decisive Wash. U. victory, ensuring they’d complete the first day of the weekend blemish free.

The Bears maintained their momentum heading into Saturday as they took on MacMurray College in the morning. Senior Lauren Martin led the way with eight kills as the Bears took another 3-0 win. The final match of the weekend was against Carthage. Carthage had an impressive first set, amassing a .312 hitting percentage While seniors Julianne Malek and Ifeoma Ufondu did their best to keep the Bears in the set, Carthage prevailed, 20-25. That would be the first and only set dropped by the Bears all weekend. As Carthage’s hit percentage fell, Wash. U’s rose steadily over the match. Wash. U comfortably won the next two sets before crushing Carthage in the final set, 25-11.

Now on a five-game winning streak, the Bears improved their record for the season to 6-2. The Red and Green look to be in excellent form heading into a difficult road trip where they will face a series of tough West Coast opponents, including No. 4 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges.