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Judges hold serve at home, win

Published: September 23, 2005
Section: Sports


One week ago, the Judges lost a tough match to Emmanuel after taking the first two games. This time around, Brandeis made sure there were no such comebacks.

Playing their home opener in front of 30 enthused people in attendance, Brandeis (4-5) swept Eastern Nazarene (5-5) out of Red Auerbach Arena 3-0 (30-17, 30-28, 30-19). One week removed from Emmanuel, Brandeis hoped to bounce back against Eastern Nazarene, though, as Coach Michelle Kim explained, it was no guarantee.

Last year when we played Eastern Nazarene, we went five games with them and we won. But this years team, we had no idea how good they were going to be because they have a completely new team from last year. Three returning players and eight freshmen on that team, but theyve given our common opponents some competition, so my expectation was that this was going to be a decent team.

Brandeis dominated game one, as Eastern Nazarene never came close once. Eastern Nazarene picked up the slack in game two, overcoming a 13-7 deficit to close within one point but Becca Schwartz (09) tipped in the match point and Brandeis scratched it out,30-28. In the third game, Eastern Nazarene jumped out to a 6-3 lead. Brandeis started off trailing in the third game but would later go on a key 8-1 run and clinch the sweep against Eastern Nazarene. At one point in the third game, Eastern Nazarene hit four balls into the net in one volley before dropping the point to Brandeis.

Lorraine Wingenbach (09) led on offense with 11 kills in a team effort while Ruggiero had 15 digs to compliment her 37 assists as well as 4 aces in the third match that helped push the game out of reach. Freshman Becca Schwartz chipped in with 8 kills, 6 blocks (3 solo) and led the team with a .312 hitting percentage.

Coach Kim appeared very calm and joyful in describing the teams win.
We had a full week to prepare for this match and I thought we played well as a team. Everyone on the team played well. I thought Becca Schwartz played well in the middle, thought Lorraine played well, Jenny played well, but I think that as a team, we played very well last night.

There were aspects of the game that raised Coach Kims trepidation.

We didnt play as well the second game, we slowed down a little bit and got sloppy. Maybe we got a little too comfortable after the first game. When the game got closer, I thought we pulled it back together again.
That said, Coach Kim was genuinely happy about her teams performance, stressing that their teamwork and resilience were important, especially for their upcoming matches.

Brandeis has the Amherst College Invitational coming up on Friday and Saturday and they will not play at home until October 18 against Tufts.

If this team stays focused, and they likely will, then they should be able to not only overcome a slow start but also take this league by storm.