The Washington University women’s soccer team will start their season ranked third nationally in Division III Soccer, behind defending NCAA Champions Williams College and the 2018 NCAA championship runner-up, Middlebury College.
The spotlight is on the women’s soccer team at Francis Field after its dominant season last fall. Yet, off the field and inside the gym, the Washington University volleyball team has quietly put together a long string of successes, one that the Bears will look to continue this year as they search for their 33rd consecutive NCAA postseason appearance and strive to push farther into the tournament.
Taking place in Claremont, Calif. this past weekend, the East-West Challenge pitted Wash. U. against three ranked teams, including the defending national champions, Claremont Mudd Scripps.
The No. 14-ranked Washington University volleyball team was unable to topple No. 8 Emory in the conference tournament last Friday, but they’ll get another crack against the nation’s best during the regional rounds of the NCAA tournament this weekend in Whitewater, Wis.
It was supposed to be an easy tune-up game before conference tournament play, but when the Blue Jays stole the first two sets, the streaking Bears, who had just swept No. 3 Wittenberg University, were forced to the ropes. As if waiting for the added drama, the Red and Green responded, hitting .393 as a team in the final three sets, taking three and four with force en route to the victory 18-25, 24-26, 25-9, 25-8, 15-11 victory.
It was a humbling first couple weeks for the Washington University volleyball team. Sporting a young roster and their usual unforgiving schedule, the Bears struggled to beat ranked and unranked teams that they dispatched with ease in 2015.
Another weekend and the losses mount. After hobbling to 4-2 during what was arguably the easiest part of their season schedule, the Washington University Bears struggled again— suffering three definitive losses on their four-game California road-trip.
The Washington University volleyball team will begin their season this weekend with a five-team round robin tournament at the Wash. U. Field House. The teams they’ll face—Knox College, Depauw University, Adrian College, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Edgewood College—combined for an 82-67 record last season.
It wasn’t easy going, but the Washington University volleyball team survived an upset scare and maintained its perfect record through another weekend.
The Bears begin postseason play against Bluffton University on Friday at 8 p.m., with the winner facing the winner of Hendrix College versus Maryville College in the regional semifinals on Saturday. If the Bears can win their first two games, they could face University Athletic Association rival and No. 5 Emory University in the regional championship.
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