October 19, 2015

Team struggles to get footing at second UAA Round Robin

Chicago hit the road again this weekend for their second round of UAA play in Cleveland, OH. Coming off two wins several weekends ago in the first UAA Round Robin, hopes were high and the team was rested after their bye week this past weekend. They went into the weekend 14–5 overall and 2–1 in the UAA, and were looking to augment their wins against some formidable foes.

The first game of the weekend pitted Chicago against the host team, Case Western. The Spartans swept the South Siders in three matches to take home the win. Third-year Mary Claire Tuhoy displayed the team’s shock when she said, “I think we felt good. Confident. Surely we weren’t expecting the outcome on Saturday. We had a bad day. It happens. Looking ahead, we really just need to return to being a unit. Finding a way to bind together and build each other up when the going gets tough. Especially when the going gets tough.”

The Maroons had an opportunity to bounce back when they faced Carnegie Mellon later that Saturday, but Carnegie led the Maroons in all the significant statistics: hitting percentage, blocks, and digs. The teams tied with 6 aces apiece. Carnegie won the first two matches, 25–23 and 25–22, respectively. The Maroons stepped up their game in the third match, winning 25–21, but it was not enough, and Carnegie came back with a 25–10 win in the fourth match to seal the deal.

Sunday provided the Maroons’ solo win of the weekend. Chicago swept Brandeis in the first three matches, coming out on top on Sunday morning. The South Siders started strong and maintained their powerful hitting throughout the game; they nearly tripled the Judges’ hitting percentage. Chicago also dominated with their serves, totaling 11 aces, while Brandeis had only three.

The last game of the weekend was the showdown between two ranked teams: the No. 15 Maroons and No. 3 Emory. The Eagles came out on top in the first three matches (26–24, 27–25, 25–17), completing the sweep. Fourth-year Maren Loe obtained nine kills, seven digs, and three aces, and Ragine Graves had a very good game with 36 assists and nine digs, but it wasn’t enough to achieve the upset.

Although the Maroons didn’t come out on top, it was a very competitive game. Tuhoy comments, “We hung with Emory all the way through. It was the only match this weekend that I felt we played Maroon volleyball. Emory is ranked No. 3 in the country right now and our scores were 24–26 and 26–28 in the first and second set. We need to take those scores, realize how good we are, and get back the competitive fire we had earlier this season.”

Chicago is very optimistic about the future of their team. Tuohey maintains hope for the remainder of the season, saying, “Our fire will be rekindled starting with the game against Wheaton.” They have eight games left, and three of the eight are in the IWU Classic. The South Siders started off their season 11–2, but have since gone 4–6. However, they are confident that they can get back to their dominating force. The Maroons are now 15–8 overall.

Chicago takes on Wheaton College on Tuesday, October 20 at 7 p.m. for senior night, and they’re hoping that the home crowd can spur them on to victory. The South Siders are undefeated at home with a 4–0 record, and this will be their first match at home since September 5.

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