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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Volleyball goes 4-1 on the week to continue early season success

Published: September 14, 2012
Section: Sports

The Brandeis volleyball team built upon their early momentum going 3-1 at the Brandeis Invitational with a pair of 3-1 wins over Babson and Rhode Island College, a 3-1 loss against Tufts and a 3-2 victory against McDaniel. Following the Invitational, the team hit the road and picked up a hard fought win at Endicott College. With their successful week, the team improves their record to 7-2, a substantial improvement from last season.

On the first day of the Brandeis Invitational, the Judges split their games against Babson and Tufts.

Against Babson, the Judges and Beavers split the first two sets 25-18 and 25-21; however, Brandeis eked out a close third set, 25-22, and then quickly put away the Beavers in the deciding fourth set, 25-13, scoring 11 of the first 12 points. Liz Hood ’14 led the Judges offensive attack with 13 kills and had just two errors on 27 attempts to finish with a .407 hitting percentage. Becca Fischer ’13 had a .467 hitting percentage and Yael Einhorn ’14 orchestrated the offense with 35 assists.

On the defensive side, Elsie Bernaiche ’15 paced the team with 29 digs while Maddie Engeler ’16 and Lauren Berens ’13 had six and five blocks respectively.

In the night game, Brandeis faced Tufts. Brandeis pulled out a hard-fought first set win, 27-25; however, Brandeis lost the second set to their Achilles heel: consistent execution. Leading the second set 11-10, the Judges let the Jumbos go on a 7-1 point run to take control of the set 17-12 on their way to a 25-22 win. Tufts built on this momentum and took the next two sets 25-20 and 25-19.

The Judges were unable to maintain the efficiency they enjoyed against Babson, committing 29 errors against Tufts compared to just 16 against the Beavers. Hood once again led the team with 12 kills while Si-Si Hensley ’14 finished with nine. Engeler finished with a .462 hitting percentage while Einhorn paced the team 30 assists and Bernaiche had a match-high 26 digs.

On the second day of the tournament, the Judges opened play against McDaniel.

The Judges struggled to find any offensive rhythm in the first set committing seven errors en route to a 25-23 loss; however, in the second set Hood and Bernaiche helped the Judges pull away with the set knotted at 17-17 to eke out a 25-20 win. Unfortunately, in the third set the Judges’ offensive inefficacy plagued them again as they committed seven errors, falling 25-18.

Facing a 2-1 deficit, the Judges showed a mental toughness and fortitude that they lacked just a season ago. The Judges conducted a smooth and efficient offense in the fourth and fifth sets fending off McDaniel and rallying for a 3-2 win.

Hood once again was the star of the Judges’ offense, finishing with 20 kills while Berens finished with 10 kills. Einhorn ran the Judges’ offense registering 46 assists. Four different Judges tallied double-digit digs with Bernaiche leading the team with 16 while Susan Sun ’13 had 14 digs, and Hensley and Amaris Brown ’16 both had 11.

In the final match of the tournament, the Judges faced Rhode Island College. Brandeis did not make the same mistake of getting off to a slow start as they built a commanding 2-0 lead, taking the first two sets, 25-19 and 25-17. The Judges were extremely efficient in the first two sets with 11 kills against two errors and 17 kills against three errors respectively.

Rhode Island College pulled out a tough 25-22 win in the third set, as neither team was able to create any separation. The Anchorwomen built on their momentum in the fourth set, racing out to an 18-10 lead; however, once again the Judges rallied scoring the next four points to pull within 18-14. The Anchorwomen responded, scoring the next two points to once again retake a commanding lead in the set, but the Judges took advantage of four errors by the Anchorwomen to close the match on a 11-1 run to win the set 25-21.

For the fourth match in a row, Hood led the team with 16 kills while Hensley and Engeler each had 13. Einhorn tallied 45 assists while Bernaiche led the team with 17 digs and Sun finished with 11 digs.

Following the Brandeis Invitational, the Judges headed to Endicott for their second true road game of the young season.

Behind Hood’s first collegiate double-double, the team easily dispatched Endicott in straight sets, 25-9, 25-19 and 25-18.

The Judges were never in any danger of losing the match, only trailing twice in the entire match with both instances occurring early in the first two sets.

Hood paced the team with 15 kills and only four errors on 34 tries for a solid .344 hitting percentage while also matching her career-high with 12 digs. Bernaiche led the team with 13 digs while Einhorn tallied 28 assists leading the team to a .211 hitting percentage.

The Judges featured a balance attack with five different players registering at least five points.

The Judges will return to action at home on Saturday with a double-header against Emmanuel and Colby-Sawyer starting at 12 p.m.