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Volleyball sweeps weekend games, pushing the record to 26-3

| Contributing Writer

Sam Buckley serves the ball in the team’s game on Pride night. (Photo by Ariel Richards | Student Life)

On Friday, at the start of parent’s weekend, the volleyball court was electric as the Bears swept Cornell College on Breast Cancer Awareness night. Riled up by the crowd, WashU took a 9-3 lead after three kills from fifth-year outside Michaela Bach. Junior Lily Steinbach notched two kills, and an ace from Elise Kilroy pushed the lead to 12-4. The collective effort highlighted the strength of this team. The Bears never looked back, and they went on to win the set 25-16. They went on to win the next two sets 25-20 and 25-20. The team only played from behind during the third set, where they reached a 16-18 score. The lead was quickly regained on an 8-point streak with stellar defense from senior defensive specialist Taryn Gurbach and a pair of kills from sophomore middle Zoe Foster. 

To get this win, head coach  Vanessa Walby said over email, “Cornell is always a strong program, and we knew we had to come focused and ready to play.”

On Saturday, WashU would notch two more wins against Earlham (25-20, 25-14, 23-25, 25-19) and Grinnell (25-8, 25-17, 22-25, 25-17). Coach Walby acknowledged the support of the parents in these wins saying, “They are loyal to our program, and [we] really enjoy spending time with each other! We are really fortunate to have such amazing people supporting our program.” With these 3 wins, WashU cements its position at number 7 in national polls in what has already been a historic season for the team. The Bears’ 26-3 season record puts them at a .897 win record, and they are on a four-game winning streak ahead of the UAA tournament. 

The team played aggressively all weekend, with freshman Sam Buckley getting 136 assists across the 3 games. Steinbach was spectacular at the net, notching 3 blocks alone against Grinnell. Walby emphasized, “I think we have done a great job serving tough and forcing our opponents to be out of the system.” This sentiment was highlighted by freshman right-side Tori Taylor and Kilroy gaining crucial aces across all 3 games. 

The team seeks to continue this hot streak. They will travel this weekend to Indiana to play Transylvania University and DePaul. On Nov. 4, they will begin conference championships.

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