Women's volleyball loses to Washington

The women?s volleyball team lost their first UAA round-robin game on Saturday, falling to the Washington University in St. Louis Bears in three matches. The game, part of the first University Athletic Association (UAA) round-robin tournament, was played at Case Western Reserve University, and ended the Tartans? winning streak at nine games. The loss came days after outside hitter Catie Fisher was named UAA Volleyball Athlete of the Week.

In both teams? first 2005 UAA matchup, the Bears, who were also last year?s divisional champions, defeated the Tartans 30?23, 30?13, 30?21. Partway through the first match, the Tartans led 12?9, only to suffer an 8?1 run by the Bears. Washington?s subsequent 17?13 lead proved insurmountable, as Carnegie Mellon lost its closest match of the game at 30?23. The Bears then exploded out of the gates in the second match with six straight points, which included two aces. The Tartans never recovered, and Washington went onto 30?13 and 30?21 victories.

The Bears? sweep puts top-ranked Washington at 13?0, overall, and pushes Carnegie Mellon?s season record to 12?6. The team had not previously dropped a game since losing to Washington & Jefferson College in four games on September 14, and had not been swept since playing University of Wisconsin?Whitewater on September 10. The loss marks the first of Carnegie Mellon?s seven UAA round-robin games.

The Case Western Reserve University tournament is one of two round-robin weekends, and encompasses three of each teams? seven round-robin games. On Sunday, the Tartans faced two other teams: New York University and University of Chicago. NYU swept Brandeis (30?18, 30?23, 30?23) on the first day of the tournament, while Chicago was swept by Emory (30?12, 30?13, 30?21).

Against tough competition, the team came away with a split, defeating Chicago 3?1 after being swept by UAA title-favorites New York 3?0. Despite the unforunate (1?2) outcome, the Tartans will look to rebound next week to better their UAA standing.

The second round-robin tournament is scheduled for next weekend at Washington University. There, each team?s remaining four UAA games will be played. The results of the two round-robin tournaments determine the seeding for the UAA championships, which take place November 5?6 at Brandeis University. Last year, the Tartans placed fourth in the eight-team bracket.

In order to rebound from their loss to the Bears, the Tartans will need to pick their game up to a new level, as Catie Fisher did on September 23 and 24. Fisher, a junior, was acknowleged as the UAA?s Volleyball Athlete of the Week following CMU?s only home tournament of the season. The outside hitter has totaled 79 kills and 83 digs between CMU?s game against Marietta College and the 2005 Carnegie Crossover.

In last week?s five games, Fisher boasted 11, 24, 22, 16, and eight kills, respectively. She will be counting on the continued excellent play of junior outside hitter Brea Carlock, who led the UAA in assists last year. The two combine with All-UAA performers in senior Chrissy Bartek and sophomore Amanda Bradford to give the team a formidable lineup in their division.

Fisher and the Tartans will try to improve their UAA seeding October 15 and 16 when Washington University hosts the second and final UAA round-robin tournament. After a week off, the Tartans will battle Brandeis, Emory, Case Western, and Rochester.