Nov. 12, 2010

* Courtesy of Washington-Saint Louis Athletics

St. Louis, Mo., November 12, 2010 - The No. 3 ranked and defending NCAA Division III champion Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team opened 2010 NCAA Division III Tournament play with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-13, 25-11)victory over Beloit College in the first round of the NCAA Midwest Regional on Friday, Nov. 12, at Tarble Arena on the campus of Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis.

Washington University, which is making its 24th-consecutive appearance in the NCAA, improved to 86-14 (.860) all-time in postseason competition and won its first-round match for the 24th year in a row.

Washington University will face Wartburg College in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 13, in Kenosha, Wis. Champions of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC), Wartburg swept the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in its tournament opener on Friday afternoon.

Wartburg (24-15) is competing in NCAA competition for the first time since 2003 and has won eight of its last nine matches heading into Saturday's regional semifinal.

Washington U. used a 6-1 run early in the first set to break open a 12-6 lead against Beloit. The Bears were up just 6-5 before a series of kills from sophomore outside hitter Drew Hargrave allowed them to take control of the action.

While Hargrave was hot to start the set, freshman outside hitter Meghan Byrne led the way down the stretch. Hargrave finished the opening frame with 5 kills on 11 attacks, while Byrne hit .667 with six kills and just nine attempts. As a team the Red and Green hit .556 in the first set with 20 kills.

It was another big run that made the difference in the second set. Again Washington University attacked with great efficiency, tallying 19 kills and hitting .447 as a unit, but the Bears led just 12-10 midway through the set. However, Washington U. closed with a 13-3 run to put away Beloit, and also dominated the third set with a 25-11 win to complete the sweep.

Byrne, Hargrave and junior middle hitter Lauren Budde each recorded double-digit kills in the win. Byrne finished with a team-high 13, hitting .480, and Hargrave and Budde had 11 apiece.

Senior right side Marya Kaminski and freshman middle hitter Kaia Schwartz also posted impressive attacking numbers. Schwartz hit a team-best .667 with six kills and Kaminski hit .571 with eight scores. As a team Washington U. hit .480, attacking better than .425 as a team in all three sets.

Sophomore setter Marilee Fisher recorded 43 assists in just three sets, averaging 14.3 assists per frame. Sophomore libero Kelly Pang finished with 19 digs and Byrne added a team-best four aces to her 13 kills.