The Case Western Reserve University volleyball team opened conference play on Saturday with a pair of losses to nationally-ranked teams, falling 3-0 to both eight-ranked Washington University (25-19, 25-19, 30-28) and the 14th-ranked University of Chicago (25-13, 25-21, 25-22) in Waltham, Massachusetts.
The two losses dropped the Spartans to 11-8 overall on the year.
After falling behind early in the first set against Washington, the Spartans rallied to knot the score at 15-15, and eventually took their first lead of the match at 17-16 on a block by juniors Karley King and Haley Sims. However, the Bears were able to close out the opening set strong, taking a 1-0 lead behind a 25-19 victory. Despite a .300 attack percentage in the second set for the Spartans, Washington was able to take a 2-0 lead with an identical 25-19 score.
The Spartans made off a strong attempt to fend off a sweep in the third set, taking a 23-20 lead over the Bears. However, Washington battled back to take a 24-23 lead. The two teams would continue to exchange points, before the Bears wrapped up the match with a 30-28 victory in the set.
King led the team with seven kills in the match, while freshman Lauren Carmon added six.
The Bears improved to 10-3 overall with the win.
The Spartans led early in the first set against Chicago, going up 6-4 over the Maroons after a block from Carmon and Sims. However, Chicago rallied from there, scoring six-straight points to take a 10-6 lead. The Spartans would get back within one, 11-10, but the Maroons were able to pull away for a 25-13 victory.
The next two sets in the match were considerably closer. CWRU trailed by just two, 21-19, in the second set, before the Maroons claimed a 25-21 victory in the frame to go ahead 2-0 in the match. In the third set, a kill by sophomore Katie Kaminski broke a tie and put CWRU in front of Chicago 20-19, before the Maroons struck for four-straight points, eventually locking up the win with a 25-22 victory in the third set.
King led the Spartans in kills in the late match as well, tallying 11 terminations in the contest, while sophomore Anna Jaskoviak registered 18 digs.
Chicago improved to 17-2 with the win over the Spartans.
The Spartans will conclude play the first UAA Round Robin in Waltham tomorrow, when CWRU takes on host Brandeis University at 10:00 a.m.