Tartan women’s volleyball takes third place at UAAs

Over the weekend, the women’s volleyball team finished in third place at the University Athletic Association (UAA) championship in Rochester, N.Y. The Tartans swept the University of Rochester and Case Western Reserve University Friday before falling to the fourth-ranked Washington (Mo.) University Saturday morning.

Carnegie Mellon rallied to defeat Brandeis University in the third-place match, while Emory University conquered Wash. U. in the championship match 3–2 Saturday afternoon.

“First or second would have been nice, but third is very impressive,” senior middle hitter Abbie Toney said. “[Emory is] a great team. They have two amazing middles that ran circles around us and most definitely around Wash. U.”

On Friday, the Tartans outmatched the Rochester Yellowjackets in three straight sets 30–20, 30–24, 30–26. Carnegie Mellon also defeated Rochester 3–0 three weeks ago at the second UAA Round Robin.

Sophomore setter Samantha Carter led the Tartan offense with 43 assists and six service aces. Toney and first-year middle hitter Caroline Size tallied 10 kills apiece, while senior outside hitter Kate Stepp recorded seven. Sophomore middle hitter Jess Brackin and junior middle hitter Chisom Amaechi each added eight kills and three blocks to the Tartans’ total.

First-year defensive specialist Cameron Griffin had 25 digs during the match, while junior defensive specialist Liz DeVleming followed with 10. Carter and Stepp had nine digs apiece.

The Tartans’ success continued Friday afternoon as they overtook Case 3–0 (30–25, 30–20, 30–28). This was the Tartans’ second victory against Case this season. Carnegie Mellon defeated the Spartans in five games at the first UAA Round Robin.

Three Tartans recorded double-digit kills during the match. Brackin led with 15 and an attack percentage of .591, followed by Amaechi (12) and Toney (10). Carter added 46 assists and 13 digs for the Tartans.

Griffin gathered 27 digs and three assists, while Stepp and sophomore Megan Killeen had 15 and nine digs, respectively. Brackin, Amaechi, and Toney collected five, four, and three blocks, respectively.

The Wash. U. Bears stalled the Tartans’ momentum Saturday morning with a 3–0 win, destroying Carnegie Mellon’s hopes for a UAA title. Carnegie Mellon came up short against the Bears all season, losing to Wash. U. 2–3 in the second UAA Round Robin.

“We didn’t have as good a match against [Wash. U.] as we did the first time we played them,” Toney said. “They scouted us very well. Every serve receive, I could hear their coach yelling to the players the sets I was going to get and where I was going to be hitting from. They definitely had it out for us.”

Carter had 28 assists and eight digs in the loss. Brackin led the offense with eight kills, followed by Stepp, who recorded six. Griffin contributed nine digs to the Tartan total.

The Tartans rebounded and squashed Brandeis 3–1 (30–26, 26–30, 30–20, 30–18) in the third-place match. The win vindicated the Tartans, who fell to the Judges 2–3 at the second UAA Round Robin.

“Brandeis is ranked in their region, so it looks good [that] we finished above them in our conference,” Toney said. “We played a great match. We slipped in the second match, but after that we came out and cleaned up.”

Carter again led the Tartans with 53 assists during the match. Brackin, Stepp, and Killeen recorded 11 kills apiece while Toney added 10. Griffin led Carnegie Mellon’s defense with 28 digs. Killeen, Stepp, and Toney added eight digs each.

The Tartans complete their season with a 20–15 record overall and a 7–4 record in the UAA. With their regular season over, the Tartans will find out if they receive a NCAA or Eastern College Athletic Conference bid today.