PITTSBURGH – The Case Western Reserve University volleyball team split a pair of matches to open the 2014 University Athletic Association Championship Tournament on Friday at Skibo Gymnasium. The fourth-seeded Spartans fell to fifth-seeded University of Chicago in four, but bounced back to sweep the eight seed, Brandeis University (Mass.).
CWRU (17-12) concludes the season in the conference's fifth-place match tomorrow morning versus either the University of Rochester (N.Y.) at 10:00 a.m.
For the day, junior outside hitter Carolyn Bogart (New Berlin, Wis./New Berlin Eisenhower) racked up 17 kills and 31 digs. Just yesterday, the junior captain was named to the Capital One Academic All-District Team.
Versus Chicago (25-11), the Spartans fell by scores of 25-23, 21-25, 25-17 and 25-21. In the first set, Chicago led 17-9 before a furious 11-1 run put the Spartans ahead, 20-18. Back and forth play ensued, but the Maroons eventually closed on a 5-3 run to win the game. In the second, the Spartans built an early advantage and used a 4-0 run late to even the match. The Maroons led for most of the final two sets.
Statistically, Bogart posted her 10th career double-double with team bests of 12 kills and 23 digs. Sophomore setter Lauren Gurd (Farmington Hills, Mich./Detroit Country Day) led in assists with 17. Junior outside hitter Katie Best (Sewickley, Pa./North Allegheny) just missed a double-double with nine kills and 21 digs.
Chicago was led by Maren Loe with 26 kills and 12 digs as well as Ragine Graves with 45 assists and 25 digs.
Against Brandeis (7-23), the Spartans were victorious by counts of 25-9, 25-11 and 25-12.
Junior middle hitter Haley Kauffman (Hartville, Ohio/Lake) led the attack with eight kills. Gurd and freshman Jessica Justice (St. Augustine, Fla./St. Augustine) split the setting duties with 15 and 12 assists, respectively, and sophomore defensive specialist Kristen Mitchell (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) paced the defense with 16 digs.
Brandeis was led by Carly Gutner-Davis with nine kills.
Entering tomorrow's season finale, CWRU is guaranteed its sixth winning season in seven years.