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Volleyball goes 4-0 over tournament and home stand

By Gordy Stillman

Section: Sports

September 16, 2011

Whenever there is a tournament, many stories follow. Usually one story rises above the others and in the case of the Brandeis Volleyball Invitational the big story was how the hosts swept their opponents in their 3-0 weekend.

The Judges started off strong with their first match of the weekend against Babson College. Though the sets were close, the Judges maintained control and won 3-0 with sets of 25-18, 26-24 and 25-19. The closest the Judges came to losing a set was early in the first, when three errors allowed the Beavers to take a 9-5 lead, but a 5-1 run tied the set and kept the match competitive. Babson took back the lead quickly and brought the score to 13-12.

The Judges fought back, scoring eight of nine points. Outside hitter Liz Hood ’15 contributed with two kills while setter Yael Einhorn ’14 served five of the points. After another point from blocker Lauren Berens ’13, the score was 20-14. The Beavers fought back with a three-point run but it wasn’t enough to stop another 5-1 Judges run from ending the set.

In the second set, the match stayed competitive with early ties of 3-3 and 8-8. Brandeis managed to open a margin with kills by Berens, outside hitter Susan Sun ’13 and middle blocker Becca Fischer ’13 to get a three-point lead at 17-14. The set eventually reached overtime, where the Judges won 26-24. By the third set the Judges were dominating. The Judges started the set 3-0, once let Babson get within a point at a 7-6 score, and then ran away with a 9-3 run on the way to a 25-19 win.

After a short break the Judges got back to work with a match against Bates College. The Judges started well in the first match with the first three points, but a 5-0 run put the Bobcats ahead. The Judges were able to climb back thanks in part to a hot streak by Berens, who managed three of four points on the way to an 8-6 lead. After slipping and allowing the Bobcats to take the lead, the Judges tied it at 18 each before going ahead for the win 25-22.

In the second set the Judges kept the momentum going with a 6-1 lead. Right side Samantha Heller ’13 served as Hood managed six kills during an 8-0 run on the way to a commanding 25-14 win. The third set was much like the second, with a 6-0 run to start it off with serves by outside hitter Shemira Pennyman ’15 and five more kills for Hood.

On Saturday the Judges soared to a 3-0 victory against Rhode Island College, while Hood had a career-high 18 kills in the final match of the invitiational. Hood wasn’t the only one to earn kills: Fischer added six while Einhorn had 25 assists in the match. Libero Elsie Bernaiche ’15 tied her career-best 19 digs in the match.

In the first set the Judges got off to a fast start with a 7-1 early lead. Hood had 10 of her 18 kills in this set alone. The second set started with a 5-0 lead. Rhode Island fought back with a three-point run, but the Judges ran away with six points for an 11-3 lead and eventually a 25-15 set. In the third and final set for the Judges, they kept the momentum going with a 6-0 start. The game got close when the Anchorwomen went on an 8-3 run to bring the score to 14-12 for the Judges; after a timeout the Judges went on a 4-0 run on the way to the 25-18 victory.

The Judges’ streak survived an early setback on Wednesday, when they won their match against Endcott College 3-1. This was the Judges’ first match of the season to be decided by more than three sets. Endcott won the first set 25-17, but the Judges bounced back to win the next three sets 25-19, 25-15 and 25-12 for the match win. Hood had 16 kills while outside hitter Si-Si Henley ’14 added 10 and Sun had seven. Three of Sun’s kills came early in the second match at the start of the Judges’ comeback; she also had 17 digs on defense. Bernaiche had a career-high 27 digs in the match. Einhorn also had a career-high with 39 assists.

The Judges’ next match is Saturday in New Hampshire. Their next home match is Tuesday when they host Tufts.

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