Volleyball drops four at second UAA Round Robin

October 19, 2018

Brandeis volleyball had a jam-packed weekend in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, competing in the second and final UAA Round Robin. This one, hosted by Carnegie Mellon University, saw the Judges battling against four UAA opponents.

After the last game on Sunday, Oct. 14, the Judges walked away dropping all four games over the course of the weekend. The Judges struggled to grab set wins in the first three games, losing each 3-0, but saw a push in the last game against NYU, taking the UAA team into a fifth set, but ultimately falling to the New York team.

At the start of the weekend, the University of Rochester seemed like the most beatable team in the UAA for the Judges. In the previous Round Robin, Rochester suffered a 3-1 loss to the other lower-ranked UAA team, NYU, which gave Brandeis an opening to do some damage.

The Judges couldn’t capitalize, however, losing three tight sets in a 3-0 loss to the Rochester Yellowjackets in the morning game on Saturday, Oct. 13. The first two sets witnessed just a two point deficit from Brandeis, both resulting in a 25-23 win by Yellowjackets. The final set ended 25-21 in favor of Rochester.

Brandeis had trouble defending against the offense of Rochester’s senior Alara Kocak, who hit an impressive 14 kills against the Judges. For the Judges, junior Emma Bartlett ’20 was the closest to Kocak’s numbers, hitting eight kills throughout the three sets.

Later on Saturday, the Judges returned to the court to face hosting team Carnegie Mellon University. In the last Round Robin, Carnegie Mellon stepped away with a 3-0 record against conference opponents, even defeating Emory University, ranked #7 at the time of the first Round Robin. Prior to facing the Judges, Carnegie Mellon dropped a close five-setter earlier in the day to #9 ranked Washington University in St. Louis.

Carnegie Mellon, a strong unranked team, swept through the Judges in three relatively dominating sets. The final score settled at 25-14, 25-19, 25-18 in favor of Carnegie Mellon, ending the first day of play for the Judges.

Brandeis returned to Carnegie Mellon’s volleyball court the next day set to play against Emory University, ranked #12 in the onset of the second Round Robin. The Judges pushed the Emory Eagles to close sets, but continued the shutout loss streak, losing 3-0 with set scores at 25-22, 25-22, 25-21.

Hoot Sports Editor Shea Decker-Jacoby ’19 had a particularly good game against the Eagles. She was dominant at the net, hitting a total of 18 kills throughout the three sets. Her teammate Grace Krumpack ’19 helped her out on the defensive end, battling to achieve 22 digs to keep the ball in play.

The final game of the weekend, and the last team in the UAA the Judges are scheduled to play, saw Brandeis against NYU, another more beatable team in the UAA. Going into the game, NYU was 1-5 against UAA conference opponents. The team had defeated the University of Rochester in the first Round Robin, but, like the Judges, had dropped all three games 0-3 in the second Round Robin prior to facing the Judges.

Despite losing the first two sets to the NYU Violets, Brandeis pushed the game to five sets, making a comeback and putting pressure on the New York team. The Judges couldn’t keep the momentum going, resulting in a final score, of 21-25, 18-25, 25-23, 25-19, 9-15 for the Violets.

After the Round Robin, the Judges conference record dropped to 0-7. They’ll get another chance to recover and advance that record when the UAA tournament begins on Friday, Nov. 2. The University of Rochester will be hosting the tournament at the their home courts in Rochester, New York.

Overall, the Judges’ record fell 8-14 for the season after a rough couple of weeks of results. They’ll look to reverse their fortune at the Hall of Fame Classic Invitational hosted by Smith College in Northampton, Mass. this weekend. Games begin on Friday, Oct. 19.

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