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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Volleyball rebounds with 3-0 at Emerson

Published: October 12, 2012
Section: Featured, Sports

The women’s volleyball team won their second straight match this week, beating the visiting
Emerson College Lions in three straight sets on Wednesday, 25-17, 25-18, 25-23. The win brings the Judges record to 13-7. The team is now ranked 12th in New England.

Wednesday night saw Liz Hood ’15 and Lauren Berens ’13 each with double-digit kills, 13 and 10 respectively; Berens contributed to their successful night with two service aces. The other star of the match versus Emerson was Yael Einhorn ’14, who contributed 32 assists and three aces. On her serve, the Judges earned six points in a row in the first set to take the early advantage.

After winning the second set, the Judges had little trouble until the third, which would prove to be the end. While the team opened up several 3-point-or-more leads, the visiting Emerson responded with three points in a row to bring on a 21-21 tied set. After two errors committed by Lions, the Judges finished the set for the 3-0 shutout with two of Hood’s recorded kills.

The Judges’ record at 13-7 already puts them above their win record of last year, with only nine wins and 21 losses.

Coach Michelle Kim, who is in her ninth year as head coach, said that the already positive shift is attributable to two factors.

“First, we got some good new players,” Kim said, mentioning Maddie Engeler, a first-year who plays middle blocker.

“And some of our experienced players have improved, and are playing positions that are even better for them,” Kim said. Engeler’s addition frees up Berens to play what the coach called a great position for her: right blocker. So, Kim said, both factors are working toward the team’s already superior win-loss ratio.

Friday is the travel day to Carnegie Mellon for the Judges’ next test, the second of two round robin tournaments against conference rivals this weekend. The Judges have not won against UAA rivals, which include several nationally-ranked teams, since 2010. On Saturday the Judges will play New York University and No. 12 Chicago, and face No. 6 Emory University Sunday morning, before finally competing against the hosting Carnegie Mellon Tartans.

“This weekend is going to be a challenge,” Kim said. “We have a shot, it depends on how we play, especially since Emory and Chicago are nationally ranked.”

But she added that “Our two wins are a confidence boost for us and it should help us at Carnegie Mellon. We beat Wheaton, who we had not played in a long time, and Emerson we played last year and they beat us.” The coach said that the clear difference between last year and the outcome against Emerson this year was enough for the “good shot” that the team has at the round-robin play. One of the schools not nationally ranked is the host school itself, adding only a different layer of difficulty.

Simply put, “All of our conference opponents are tough,” Kim said.