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Volleyball takes #9 Carnegie Mellon to five sets in UAA tournament

By Zach Cihlar

Section: Sports

November 10, 2017

Brandeis women’s volleyball opened up the final rounds of the University Athletic Association (UAA) conference tournament with an impressive push against the top-seeded team Carnegie Mellon University on Friday, Nov. 3.

In compass draw format, the team played three matches total to determine where the teams fell in UAA standings. The format required Brandeis, ranked eighth in the UAA, to play the first seed in the tournament.

In host school Emory University’s gym in Atlanta, GA, Brandeis capitalized on an early lead against the first-seeded team, earning the first set win off a kill by outside hitter Shea Decker-Jacoby ’19, who would rack in 15 kills in total.

In a closely held second set, neither team was able to gain more than a two-point lead on the other. Brandeis had three set-point opportunities to push their momentum forward to a two set lead. The Judges couldn’t convert the set points, however, and ended up dropping the dramatic back-and-forth second set 28-30.

Brandeis and Carnegie Mellon split the third and fourth sets to force the tight game to a 15-point fifth set. Reaching two hours and four minutes long, the Judges pushed the score to 6-5 in the fifth set before Carnegie Mellon secured the lead and ran away with the match 15-8 in the fifth. The final score resulted in 21-25, 30-28, 25-17, 24-26, 15-8 to Carnegie Mellon.

Right-side hitter Marissa Borgert ’21 put up an impressive game with equally impressive stats, earning a triple-double with 20 kills, 15 assists and 13 digs. One of the team’s main setters Marlee Nork ’19 offered over 30 assists for the fourth time this season with a total of 33.

Despite Carnegie Mellon holding the first seed, Washington University in St. Louis ended up taking home the trophy, defeating Emory University in the finals of the UAA tournament.

A first round loss put the Judges in the first round of the consolation bracket against fifth-seeded Case Western Reserve University later that same day. Brandeis, however, could not hold onto the momentum from a well-played main draw match, and fell in three sets to Case Western, with the final score tallying at 16-25, 18-25, 19-25.

For their final UAA match, the Judges filtered into the second back draw to play New York University (NYU) for the seventh place spot in UAA competition. The Judges previously lost to NYU in the UAA Round Robins, but they hoped to take the momentum from Friday morning’s game against Carnegie Mellon into the Saturday morning game against NYU.

Brandeis was on a roll in the first set, trumping NYU 25-13 in controlling fashion. In the second set, the Judges extended their lead to 2-0 in sets after winning by a closer margin 25-21. The third set was tight up until 19-20, when a few attack errors from Brandeis hitters offered an opportunity to NYU to snatch the third set. The New York team rode the third set victory through the fourth and fifth, stealing the seventh spot from the Judges in another tough five setter. The final score read 25-13, 25-21, 20-25, 21-25, 9-15 in favor of NYU.

Though the Judges left Atlanta in the eighth place position in the UAAs, Brandeis women’s volleyball exited the season with a winning record of 15-14, a great improvement on last season’s 7-21 record.

More good news arrived for the Judges on Monday, Nov. 6, when the team received an invitation to the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) regional tournament, extending their season through the Nov. 11 weekend.

First round of play occurred on Wednesday, Nov. 8. Brandeis hosted Brooklyn College for a mid-week match, which resulted in a Judges win in quick fashion. The women defeated Brooklyn in three sets, allowing no more than 16 points to the visiting team in a single set. Borgert helped the Judges reach a decisive victory with five kills, 20 assists and eight digs. Captain Yvette Cho ’19 also put in a solid effort, earning a match-high 13 digs.

The Judges will play their next round of the ECAC tournament on Saturday, Nov. 11 against Frostburg State University. They will travel to Frostburg, Maryland to compete in the 5 p.m. match.

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