Upsets Galore in the UAA; Will Wheaton Fall Prey?

Riding high after gaining the No.1 spot for the UAA tournament that will take place later this season, the women’s volleyball team took on Wheaton on Thursday.

By Simone Stover

Chicago was set to face off against Wheaton College this Thursday in what was shaping up to be an exciting match after a recent string of victories for the Maroons. After a disappointing performance in the Chicago Invitational two weeks ago, during which the team lost all three matches in its first home tournament in nearly a month, the South Siders rallied for an impressive performance in the UAA Round Robin #2.

The team finished the tournament—which was held in Waltham, Massachusetts this past weekend—with four wins and zero losses. The team beat No. 6 Emory, Rochester, and Case Western in 3–1 victories, while also defeating New York University in an even more decisive 3–0 victory.

Chicago’s stellar performance was a continuation of the streak that the team began at the beginning of the month during the UAA Round Robin #1, in which Chicago defeated Brandeis, No. 16 Carnegie Mellon, and No. 15 Wash U. The Maroons are currently undefeated and ranked first in the UAA Conference with a record of 7–0. They are trailed by Emory, which touts a record of 6–1. Overall, the Maroons boast a 15–7 record.

 With such an impressive performance to add to its record, the Chicago team seems to be in very high spirits going into this Thursday’s match. “I’d say that as a team we’re focusing on maintaining good energy on the court because that’s generally when we play best,” said Audrey Scrafford, a second-year outside/right side hitter, when asked about the team’s overall energy going into the game against Wheaton.

“I think as long as we continue doing that we’ll find success,” she continued. Scrafford was a pivotal contributor to the Maroons’ Round Robin victories, racking up kill numbers in the double digits in all but one match. Her most successful match was that against Case Western, during which she achieved an impressive seventeen kills.

Chicago and Wheaton came into Thursday’s game on relatively equal footing, with neither team having a distinctive edge. Last year, the Maroons boasted a decisive 3–0 victory over the Thunder, but have yet to play Wheaton this year. However, the two teams have faced many of the same opponents over the course of the current season.

Both teams suffered losses against Millikin, UW–Eau Claire, Calvin, and Elmhurst; each managed to achieve a 3–0 win over Carroll. Illinois Wesleyan is the only common opponent against which Chicago and Wheaton have not had similar results. Chicago suffered a 3–1 loss to Illinois Wesleyan back in September, while Wheaton achieved a 3–2 victory against the team this past Tuesday.

The match was held at Wheaton College’s campus in the King Arena, located only about an hour away from the University of Chicago.

Editor's Note: The Maroons fell to Wheaton 31 late last night.