South Siders Undefeated in Conference Play

Seeming to enjoy the road more than playing at home, the volleyball team went 4–0 this weekend, in the second UAA Round Robin, earning them the No. 1 seed in the November conference tournament.

By Alyssa Rudin

Last weekend, the Maroons headed to Waltham, MA for the second UAA Round Robin. The team faced New York University, No. 6 Emory University, University of Rochester, and Case Western Reserve University. The squad had an incredible weekend, extending their conference win streak to seven matches and improving overall to 15–7.

The South Siders had an excellent first day of competition. They swept NYU with scores of 25–15, 25–15, and 25–16, respectively.  Despite starting the first two sets off very close, the Maroons gained momentum and closed out the sets with relative ease. Chicago dominated the hitting percentage, earning a .309 to New York’s .028. Second-year Audrey Scrafford was an offensive force, racking up 14 kills to just three errors. Fourth-year Mary Claire Tuohy excelled on defense, leading the team with 18 digs. 

Later in the day, they faced a very tough opponent in No. 6 Emory. The Maroons proved they were ready for the challenge, defeating the Eagles in four close sets. Emory started strong, winning the first set 25–18 and holding the Maroons to a .083 hitting percentage. Chicago, however, regrouped and won the next two close sets, posting improved hitting percentages of .364 and .324. The Maroons prevented a late fourth set rally by the Eagles to win the set 27–25 and take the victory. First-years Madison Pearson and Anabella Pinton handled the pressure of a game against a nationally ranked team with aplomb, as each had 14 kills. 

The second day of the Round Robin proved to be just as successful as the first, with the Maroons defeating both Case Western and Rochester in four sets. Chicago handled Rochester in the first set, with 11 kills and only two errors to Rochester’s nine kills and eight errors. Rochester fired back in the second set, taking advantage of Chicago attack errors and winning the set 25–11. The South Siders maintained their composure, a theme throughout the tournament, and fought to win the next two sets, 25–20 and 25–19. Once again, libero Tuohy had a great defensive game with 20 digs. 

The Maroons closed out their undefeated tournament with another close win over Case Western. Chicago lost a close first set but rallied to take the next three contests, all by a narrow margin. The team was boosted by great performances from several players; Pinton, Scrafford, and second-year Sarah Muisenga combined for 47 of the team’s 60 total kills and fourth-year Erin Risk dominated with 47 assists and 12 digs. 

Reflecting on the team’s wins over the weekend and in conference, Pearson could not emphasize her pride for her team enough. “It felt like we had a target on our backs but we did a great job fighting our way to the top,” Pearson said. “Every single person played a role in the success of the team, no exceptions.” The many great performances from such a wide variety of team members prove her right. While the squad gets a chance to play away from home again this weekend, they will return to Ratner the following weekend for Senior Night. The Maroons can enjoy a brief break before traveling to face Wheaton this Thursday.