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Volleyball swept at the UW-Whitewater Invite

| Staff Writer

Volleyball dropped from #6 to #12 in national rankings. (Ginger Schulte | Student Life)

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. Despite the early deficit, the Bears refused to give up. WashU piled up kills and on its way to victories in sets  3 and 4, with Outside Hitter Jasmine Sells leading the way with 18 kills and setter Sam Buckley steadying the team’s attack. The game came to a decisive 5th set, with the Bears knotting the score at 13 following a great kill from the middle Zoe Foster. The Bears failed to complete the comeback, dropping the final two points. 

The following two games came against two top-20 teams, #16 Transylvania and the hosts, #10 UW-Whitewater. Despite leading in blocks, aces, and digs for three sets, the Bears could never surpass the hump against Transylvania, losing in straight sets. While each set remained competitive until the end, Transylvania pulled away each time with a series of kills or set of errors from the Bears. 

The final game against #10 UW-Whitewater was highlighted by impressive digs and many assists, but ended with WashU losing the defensive battle at the net. This time, the Bears lost the game themselves, posting their worst kill percentage of the season. Once again, Jasmine Sells dominated, especially in the second set, which the Bears won. In the third set, the Bears played from behind, nearly sparking an impressive comeback, but losing 25-22. In the fourth, the Bears went up 11-6, but the offense stagnated, as UW pulled away to win the last set 25-19 and take the match. 

The Bears are looking forward to a bounceback next week with a game Tuesday against Greenville at home.

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