The No. 5 Washington University volleyball team traveled across town to the University of Missouri-St. Louis in St. Louis, Mo., on Wednesday night, beating the Riverwomen, 3-0 (30-23, 30-24, 30-27). Junior Nikki Morrison and senior Haleigh Spencer powered the Bears’ offense, each tallying 15 kills and hitting a combined .371.
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Washington U. led by a small margin for a majority of game one, before opening up its largest lead of the frame, 22-16. Missouri-St. Louis responded to its six-point deficit with a 3-0 scoring run, cutting the lead to 22-19, but would not get any closer and the Bears pulled away for a seven-point win. Morrison had seven of her kills in the game one win, with Spencer chipping in five.
UMSL grabbed the momentum at the start of the second game, leading through the first two thirds of the frame before WU tied the match at 19-19 on back-to-back service aces from senior Ellen Bruegge and took its first lead of the frame on the next point on a kill from junior Alli Alberts. The Riverwomen regained the lead, taking the next two points, but Washington U. won nine of the final 11 points to earn the win. Spencer had five more kills in the second game, while Morrison and Bruegge both had three.
The Bears stormed out of the intermission, quickly seizing a 10-4 lead in the third frame, leading to an UMSL timeout. Missouri-St. Louis eventually tied the match at 17-17, leading to a series when the teams traded five-straight points before the Red and Green gradually pulled away for the match sweep. Spencer made it a perfect 3-for-3 in adding five more kills to her match total in the third game.
Spencer was the only Bear to record a double-double, also tallying 12 digs. Alberts and sophomore libero Laura Brazeal tied for the team lead in digs with 20 apiece. Senior Lindsay Schuessler was the fourth WU player to finish with double-digit digs, tallying a career-high 12. Junior Audra Janak finished the match with 46 assists, and reigning University Athletic Association Player of the Week Erin Albers had six kills and a team-best five total blocks.
Washington U. (20-4) returns to action on Friday, Oct. 26, when it will compete in the first day of the Bears Classic. WU will face Peru State University at 5:15 p.m., and Principia College at 7:30 p.m.