Entering the tournament, the Bears had placed sixth at the University Athletic Association (UAA) conference championships, denying their hopes of a conference title and the right to host regionals in the NCAA tournament. After finishing tied for second in the regular season UAA standings, the Bears were upset by Case Western Reserve University in the first round.
Wrapping up an impressive season that saw the Washington University volleyball team beat a number of nationally ranked opponents, including No. 2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and No. 7 Johns Hopkins University, WashU was looking to end its season on a high note.
As the Washington University volleyball team entered the University Athletic Association (UAA) conference play this past weekend, it searched for consistency. After having an unexpected yet outstanding performance a few weeks ago at the East to West Battle — a tournament held in California bringing in different Division III teams — the team has struggled, losing three of its last four.
Coming off of wins against some of the top teams in the nation, WashU entered the UW-Whitewater Invite with high hopes. Facing unranked Saint Benedict in the first match, the #7-ranked Bears exuded confidence. However, the team quickly dropped consecutive sets despite great defense from Libero Ellie Laird and aces from all over the team
In a weekend to remember, the Washington University volleyball team left its mark in California. The Bears — who traveled to the Golden State to compete in the East to West Invitational — battled through tough opposition for three impressive victories, including two wins over teams ranked top 10 in the nation.
The team played out-of-conference foes North Central College and #23 Otterbein University to kick off the Bear Invite — a tournament that was hosted at WashU this past weekend — Friday night. It won both games with a scoreline of 3-1 against North Central and swept #23 Otterbein.
The No. 10 seeded Washington University squad was unable to pull off another comeback Friday, falling to No. 20 Hope College in four sets.
On Saturday, WashU lost to Emory University to finish second in the UAA Championships tournament. They play the first round of the NCAA tournment on Thursday.
The UAA Setter of the Week has impressed all season long, contributing to the team’s 27-4 record. As the squad gears up for the playoffs, Student Life talks to Sam Buckley about setting for veteran hitters, how she stays focused, and Coach Walby’s secret talent in the kitchen.
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