The Maroons, No. 21 in rank, traveled to Millikin, IL this past Saturday for a double header against No. 19 UW-Oshkosh and the host team Millikin. Coming off of a tough weekend in the second round of UAA play, the squad was eager to get back on the court prove, itself, and make a statement. The Maroons did exactly that by going 3-0 on Saturday.
First-year Sydney Majors commented on the team’s thoughts and aspirations going into Saturday’s double header: “Going into this weekend, the team was focused on just playing harder and smarter than last weekend. We came in strong and that is exactly what we did! We had lots of energy, and it was so fun to play as a team with them. We needed to play as a team.”
The South Siders went 3-1 against UW-Oshkosh Titans. As expected, it was a very close, competitive game; the Maroons fought to take a 25–23 victory in the first set. In the second match, however, Chicago fell short; the final score of the set was 25–17.
In the third set, the Maroons battled from a 20–19 deficit by scoring 5 points in a row, sealing the deal with a 25-21 victory. Chicago managed to put away the Titans with a 25-18 win in the fourth match. Fourth-year Maren Loe and first-year Audrey Scrafford took control in the fourth match with an impressive 16 kills combined
Chicago dominated Oshkosh in every statistical category, hitting .294 to the Titans’ .233, tallying two more blocks per match, and serving up 64 digs compared to the Titans’ 57.
Scrafford had an impressive game with 25 kills, and third-year libero Mary Claire Tuohy played a great all around game with 18 digs, 3 aces, and 3 assists. Fourth-year Ragine Graves rounded out the Maroons balanced attack with 39 assists and 11 digs.
Later that day, the South Siders took on the host of the tournament, and the Big Blue took advantage of their home court, coming out confident in the first match. With 3 attack errors in a row, the Maroons fell to an 18–12 deficit. Millikin was able to capitalize on of the mistakes and won the first set, 25–18.
In the second set, neither team excelled offensively; they hit at a low combined percentage of .148. Although the hitting wasn’t on par, the Maroons were able to come out on top with a 25–18 victory. This tied the score at one set per team.
The South Siders never looked back, coming out extremely strong in the third match. At one point, the Maroons led the Big Blue 21–6. Despite a late rally, Chicago clinched the set with a 25-12 victory.
The Big Blue put up a fight in the fourth set, and the match was tied 20–20, but Chicago was able to come out on top and win 25–23 to finish an impressive showcase.
Chicago once again was able to excel in the battle of statistics, leading Millikin in hitting percentage, blocks, and aces. Graves churned out another impressive match with 26 assists and 11 digs. Loe tallied 13 kills and 5 digs.
While the squad is now gathering momentum going into their tournament this weekend, they have several tests ahead in the form of Hiram, Carthage, and Depauw.