November 6, 2018

Women's Volleyball Falls in UAA Championship

The Chicago Maroons women’s volleyball team fought valiantly at this weekend’s University Athletic Association tournament in Rochester, New York, beating rival Washington University 3–1 in the semifinals before falling to top-seeded Emory University 3–0 in the finals. 

Statistically, the Maroons bested Wash U’s Bears across the board Friday night. UChicago hit 24.6 percent of attempted shots compared to the Bears’ 17.1 percent, made six blocks to Wash U’s four, and posted two more aces than their St. Louis rivals. Standout performers included third-year Anabella Pinton, who posted 14 kills; third-year Anne Marie Stifter and fourth-year Sarah Muisenga with 13 kills each; and second-year Emma Griffith with 42 assists. 

Led by these strong performers, the Maroons took sets one, three, and four in a dominant fashion. The match culminated in set four as the Maroons took 13 points in a row, deflating the Bears’ hopes of clawing back into the game.  

Emory University’s Eagles proved to be a far tougher opponent. The Eagles’ defense was dominant in the championship finals, recording 12 blocks to the Maroon’s one. With a slightly higher hitting percentage—21.9 percent to the Maroons’ 15.1 percent—Emory was able sweep all three sets.   

The game was nevertheless a hard-fought one. The Maroons barely lost set one 24–20 and briefly led set two 10–6 before falling to 11–17 and eventually losing the set 25–20. UChicago again captured a lead early in set three with a 20–15 start but ultimately fell to the Eagles, 33 points to 31.  

Standout athletes for the Maroons include Stifter and third-year Madison Pearson with 10 kills apiece as well as Griffith, who posted 37 assists. 

When asked about the games this weekend, Pinton said, “Overall, I am very proud of how we did this weekend. Although we did not accomplish one of our goals, to win a UAA championship, we came very close and gave Emory a good fight. I also think it was a great last game before we head into NCAAs this weekend!”

The Maroons left the Rochester tournament ranked No. 10 and needed an at-large bid to qualify for the NCAA Division III Championship. The committee reached a decision on Monday, November 5, that the team qualified.  

The Maroons will look forward competing in the postseason tournament this coming Friday as they match up against Dubuque University at home. Six other teams will also be competing at Ratner Athletics Center through the weekend with UChicago acting as a regional host.