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Highs, lows, and in-betweens

Published: October 7, 2005
Section: Sports


Last weekend was a trial by fire for the volleyball squad, and they returned slightly singed. Brandeis went 1-2 at the Amherst Invitational Tournament, beating Trinity College on the first day (30-26, 30-23, 25-30, 26-30, 15-12) before losing a tough one to Middlebury (30-21, 20-30, 30-18, 31-33, 7-15) and then collapsing against Amherst (30-15, 30-19, 30-22). This weekends tournament brings the Judges record to 5-7.

The first match against Trinity was a tough one. Brandeis won the first two games, then the Bantams took the next two, but Brandeis won the tie-breaker to take the win. Lorraine Wingenbach 09 led the offense with 18 kills and contributed on defense with 21 digs. Jenny Sandler 08 led on defense with 24 digs and contributed with 10 kills while Violette Ruggiero 09 had a collegiate best 48 assists.

Coach Michelle Kim was very excited when discussing their performance against Amherst.
Thats the best Ive seen our team play! Its just very exciting to see them do well, to fight for every point, never give up you know it was a 5-game match so it was like going to war and they played awesome as a team. So, that was fun.

Every little thing that weve been working on, just that everyone was on, everyone clicked. There was a lot of communication, a lot of teamwork, a lot of encouraging each other, supporting each other. Just the whole teamwork aspect came together. They just flowed much, much better in this game.

Unfortunately, their momentum could not be sustained against Middlebury the next day. The first of two straight matches, Brandeis took a 2-1 lead, then lost a heartbreaker in game 4 and dropped the overtime match 7-15. Kim added her thoughts about the game.

That was a great match-up, we played well and that fourth game was real closeand I think that was the game we needed to win because after giving it all in that fourth game and having lost that game, I think we just, hit the wall. The fifth game didnt start out on a good note and its such a short game that if you start badly, or let the other team get that much of a lead, its tough. At one point I think the score was 9-2 and thats hard to come back from when its only a 15-point game.

Having played two straight five-game matches against tough opponents, Brandeis had nothing left to offer, falling in three straight matches to host Amherst.

That was a quick one. We obviously didnt do as well against AmherstI think we just ran out of gas against Amherst and didnt have much to give. Kim added, We need to get used to playing well on the second day, not just the first day. We gotta be able to crank it out first night and then continue on into the second day.

Even in spite of some setbacks, Coach Kim saw plenty of positives about this team.
It was something we needed to see, to help prepare us for conference play and we need to get used to playing stronger teams.

This is the first tournament Brandeis has participated in since the Springfield Invitational that kicked off the season. They now enter a stretch of tournaments every weekend, starting with a UAA Round Robin at Case-Western University in Cleveland, OH.

Case-Western is no pushover and conference rivals NYU and Washington University are ranked in the top ten nationwide. Still, their chances are best summed up by their coach.
On any given day, this team can win.

Information from the Brandeis athletic page and Adam Levin were used in this report.