Volleyball loses stunner to Millikin
The Washington University volleyball team’s nine-game winning streak came to an end this Saturday as the No. 24 Bears fell to Millikin University in straight sets, 3-0. The Bears had beaten Centre College earlier in the day, 3-1, but could not finish against the Big Blue, losing the three sets by a combined seven points. With the Senior Day doubleheader split, Wash. U. moved to 21-7 on the season.
Despite a morning win against Centre, the Bears’ winning streak did not survive the afternoon. In Saturday’s second match, Wash. U. faced off against Millikin University, who entered the match with a 18-12 record. A kill by Bach started off the match and gave the Red and Green an early 1-0 lead. The Big Blue responded on the next point, and neither team had a lead greater than two points throughout the set. Down 22-23, Millikin went on a three-point scoring run to win the set 25-23.
The next two sets were similar to the first. King continued to stand out for the Bears with 10 kills and five blocks. The sets were closely contested, but Millikin came out on top. Wash. U. had leads throughout each set but could not hold on to them, as a few well-timed Millikin timeouts limited any momentum the Bears could muster.
“I think we had some inconsistent play and were slow to make adjustments,” head coach Vanessa Walby said.
The Big Blue swept the Bears in three sets, winning the second set 25-23 and third set 25-22. Wash. U. fell to 21-7 on the season.
“[We need to] work to make adjustments faster and come to compete every day,” Walby said after going 1-1 on the day.
The Red and Green first faced off against Centre College, who came into the day with a 7-15 record. Wash. U. came out strong and started the match with two kills to take an early 2-0 lead. Centre responded, and the Bears and the Colonels continued to go back and forth in a competitive first set. The Bears never trailed in the set and won on an error by Centre junior Josie Grace-Mudd, 25-20.
Wash. U. started the second set off with a kill and went up 1-0. Centre quickly responded, and the two teams alternated holding leads throughout the set. The Bears ran away at the end of the set and won 25-21. Centre resisted the sweep and beat the Bears in the third set by two points before the teams continued their competitive play in the fourth set, when Wash. U. pulled away at the end and won the set 25-20.
Sophomore Michaela Bach and senior Leila King helped lead the Bears to victory with 17 and 14 kills, respectively, out of the team’s total 60 kills. Senior libero Zoe Baxter also stood out for the Bears with 19 digs. The win over Centre brought Wash. U.’s winning streak to nine games.
The Bears finish the regular season this Tuesday, Nov. 5 at Greenville University. Wash. U. then heads into the University Athletic Association (UAA) tournament next weekend and will face off against Case Western University in the UAA Quarterfinals in Chicago.