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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Women's VBall hang tough, still lose

Published: September 23, 2005
Section: Sports

Growing pains are very difficult to deal with. That is what the Brandeis womens volleyball team learned last night when they were swept by MIT 20-30, 23-30, 26-30. This is their third straight loss, dropping the Judges to 2-3.

The Judges were led by sophomore Jenny Sandler who dominated both ends of the court with 14 kills and 14 digs.

Shes an aggressive player, offensively and defensively. Were really lucky to have her on the court.

Second year coach Michelle Kim also got a glimpse of the future with freshman setter Violette Ruggiero contributing 23 assists. Unfortunately, Brandeis only had a .121 hitting percentage. On top of that, MIT had senior Caroline Jordan with 18 kills and .739 hitting percentage. It was a good thing for MIT too because even though they were more experienced than Brandeis, the rest of MIT had only a .186 hitting percentage. The win leaves MIT undefeated at 4-0.

Despite the defeat, Coach Kim found a lot of positives to take out of the game. Kim pointed out that unlike Brandeis, MIT had all of their players returning and had won the ECAC for the past two years, so this was clearly an uphill battle for a Brandeis team with only one of two seniors starting on the court. If she was disappointed, she refused to show it.

I thought we played a great defense—MIT is a great attacking team. They are a great passing team, so they also attack really well. We stayed very scrappy, picked up a lot of balls and sent a lot of balls back to them.

Kim also made it a point not to refer to their losing streak as a slump.

I wouldnt call it a slump, we have a bunch of individuals who want to work hard and work together. As long as we keep that mindset, we should have no problem improving this season.

Coach Kim was perfectly clear though about her expectations:

Were going to go through a lot of learning experiences during this season because this is a young team, but I do not want to use that as an excuse for anything;

I still have high expectations and I still want to do well this season and every one of my players expects the same.

The season is only five games old. The previous contests were held at the Springfield Invitational. Brandeis finished in a tie for second after starting off defeating Roger Williams (30-20, 22-30, 30-20, 30-26) and trouncing Suffolk (30-18, 30-16, 30-19). Lorraine Wingenbach 09 had 15 kills in each game. Unfortunately, their momentum could not carry them through as they dropped the next two against Rhode Island (31-33, 30-20, 23-30, 28-30) and host Springfield (23-30, 17-30, 23-30).

Their season continues with road games against both Endicott College and Clark University. Their first home game of the season is against Eastern Nazarene College on the 20th.

It is clear that this is a young team and there will be struggles throughout the season. It is also clear, however, that this is a scrappy, talented team that will only get better as the season goes on. In a year or two, we may bear witness to a champion-caliber team. Right now, with close to 40 matches to go, there is time enough for the Judges to achieve, if nothing else, a winning season.