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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

WVolleyball advances in ECAC

Published: November 17, 2006
Section: Sports

Making their first postseason appearance since Well, their first appearance under Coach Michelle Kim, the Judges justified their number one ECAC seeding with a 3-0 crushing of eighth-seeded Framingham State. It was important to start off strong following a 6th place finish in the UAA tournament last weekend, especially after being awarded the number one seed in the ECAC Tournament.

When you're number one, there's a lot more pressure to do well, team captain Shannon Trees 08 explained. By keeping control over their passes and always sending shots back to Framingham State, Brandeis was able to double up the first match 30-15 then allowed a mini run in a 30-21 win before clamping down on a decisive 30-14 win in the final game.

Coach Kim provided her thoughts on the teams success. I thought we served well, kept the pressure on them the whole time. When we're able to do that, we have a chance to win the game.

Leading the score sheets was Lorraine Wingenbach 09 with 18 kills and with only one error in 23 attempts, an astounding .739 hitting percentage. Rookie Bridget McAllister 10 carried her strong regular season play into the postseason with 10 kills from the middle. Ashley Powers 08 led the defense with eight digs and tied the team high with three service aces. Violette Ruggiero 09 provided 35 assists from the setter position.

Framingham State was led offensively by Stephanie Pratt 08 with nine kills in the losing effort. Framingham rookie Alysa Mahan 10 had a game high 19 digs.

The win follows the Judges UAA performance where they scrapped out a sixth place finish after two days. Brandeis started the first day falling to nationally ranked (#19) NYU 0-3 (25-30, 24-30, 26-30) and had no answer for 14th ranked Emory 0-3 (23-30, 13-30, 14-30). Brandeis, though, managed to pull together and won three straight games to upset Chicago 3-2 (24-30, 28-30, 30-26, 31-29, 15-11).

Piera Carfagno 10 led the attack against Chicago with 19 kills, while Becca Schwartz 09 followed with 16 of her own. Bridget McAllister had 12 kills, 11 digs and six blocks and Ruggiero had a season-high 65 assists. McAllister also had seven kills, nine digs and three blocks against Emory. Wingenbach and Trees led the losing effort against NYU with nine kills and nine digs respectively.

In day two, the Judges triumphed over Case-Western 3-1 (30-19, 29-31, 30-24, 30-27 ) but could not beat Chicago a second time and had to settle for sixth with a 1-3 defeat (30-23, 22-30, 21-30, 28-30). Wingenbach and Carfagno each had 17 kills against Case-Western, while McAllister offered 16 kills of her own and Ruggiero had a double-double of 13 digs and 57 assists. Against Chicago, Wingenbach led on offense with 12 kills while Schwartz led on defense with 10 digs.

With round one done, Brandeis faces off against fourth seeded Keene State Nov. 11 and the winner of the match faces off against the winner of the Colby-Sawyer (#3)/Johnson-Wales (#7) match for the ECAC championship. While Framingham State may have been easy, Coach Kim knows not to be complacent. Every match we're going to play from now until the end is going to get better and better opponents. We've got to step up and get ready for those matches. Trees concurs, The competition definitely gets a lot harder, so we need to make sure that we come in still playing hard all the way through.