The Maroons put on a strong showing at the UAA Round Robin II, taking three of four in St. Louis this past weekend.
The South Siders (19–8, 6–1 UAA) swept through their Saturday matches, defeating third-ranked Emory (24–3, 5–2 UAA) 3–1 and fourth-ranked NYU (20–4, 4–3 UAA) 3–0.
Chicago suffered a brief hiccup on its second day of play, losing its first match to fifth-ranked Carnegie Mellon (19–7, 4–3 UAA) 3–1, but came back to win its final match of the Round Robin against sixth-ranked Case Western Reserve (13–14, 2–5 UAA) 3–0.
The Maroons started the tournament with a hard-fought win over Emory. Although it was outscored in team points 64–61, Chicago pulled through, winning very close third and fourth sets after splitting the first two.
The South Siders became more comfortable as the afternoon progressed, beating NYU 3–0 while allowing no more than 20 points in any set. Chicago had a final team point tally of 53 to NYU’s 41.
Second-year Maren Loe had a combined 20 kills on the day as well as 21 digs. Fourth-year Maggie Vaughn accumulated 19 kills and recorded Chicago’s only blocked shot of the day.
After the first set on day two of the tournament, it appeared as if Chicago’s early victories on the previous day would portend continued dominance, as the team took on Carnegie and Case. The Maroons pulled ahead in their first set against Carnegie to win it 25–13.
However, the Tartans responded well, sweeping the following three sets with Chicago only able to muster an average of 17 points per set.
Chicago found redemption in the following match, albeit facing a significantly weaker opponent.
The Spartans put up a fight the first two sets, only losing by two in each set, but Chicago asserted its dominance in the final set with a resounding 25–16 victory.
Loe outdid her kill total from day one with a total of 23 and third-year Eirene Kim had a combined 33 digs, exceeding her performance in that category from the day before by one.
“They were on a mission this weekend to try to finish at the top of our conference,” said head coach Vanessa Walby. “For the most part, we played pretty steady and confident.”
After the weekend, the Maroons ranked second in the UAA behind only Washington University (22–5, 6–1 UAA) with a winning percentage of 70.4 percent compared to the Bears’ leading 81.5 percent in the conference.
Despite a solid performance over the weekend, the Maroons fell in the rankings to 19th overall in Division III play where they had previously rounded out the top 15 in the nation.
Next up for the Maroons is the Morgan Buerkett Memorial Invite, during which Chicago will also be celebrating Senior Night. Those matches, against Alma and Elmhurst, will be the South Siders’ final home competition of the season, and are scheduled to take place at 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Friday.