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Volleyball no match for top-rated Tufts

By Kara Karter

Section: Sports

September 23, 2010

The Brandeis University Volleyball team dropped a tough one Tuesday, falling in three sets (26-24, 25-22 and 25-18) to a talented Tufts team.

It was the sixth straight win for Tufts’ Jumbos (6-2), the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s 29th ranked team in the nation.

With the loss, Brandeis, the winner of five of its six previous matches, fell to 8-3 on the season.

A highly contested first set, which featured 13 ties and four leads, ultimately went Tufts’ way after Brandeis, which had come back from a 14-10 deficit, went ahead 19-17.

After ties at 19, 20, 23 and 24 points, Tufts–New England’s top-rated team–claimed the next two to take the set.

The second set was an equally back-and-forth affair.

Tufts jumped out to an early four-point advantage and, despite relinquishing the lead numerous times, the Jumbos ultimately held on for a 25-22 win. Down 22-19, the Judges had rallied off three consecutive points to even the score at 22.

Brandeis led twice in a third set that began with ties at one-all, two-all and three-all.

There were a total of seven stalemates in the match’s closing set, the last at 16-16. From there, the Jumbos pulled away, recording nine of the final eleven points on route to a 25-18 victory.

Paige Blasco ’11 led the Judges’ attack, tallying nine kills. Her sister, Abby ’11 helped out with seventeen assists.

Susan Sun ’13 totaled 14 digs –tops on the team– and Nicole Smith ’11 was strong on defense, registering four blocks.

It was a down match for Brandeis, which last week hosted its annual invitational. Within the friendly confines of Red Auerbach Arena, the Judges played their way to victories against Gordon College, Bates College and Trinity College (CT).

Despite falling to UMass Boston, the Judges, by way of a sets–won tiebreaker, were named the tournament’s victors.

Abby Blasco recorded 88 assists and 56 digs during the four matches to secure a place on the event’s All Tournament team for the first time in her career.

Brandeis will be looking to get back to its winning ways by taking part in another tournament, this time on the road.

The Judges challenge the host Lord Jeffs at 6 p.m. Friday as part of the Amherst Classic, set to continue through Saturday.

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