This past weekend, the Brandeis volleyball team competed in their first conference action of the season in the University Athletic Association Conference tournament hosted by New York University. The team is led by head coach Alesia Vaccari, who is in her second year with Brandeis, and assistant coach Alyssa Broccoli who just starting her first year here on staff. The captains for the 2015-2016 season are middle hitter Maddie Engeler ’16 and middle hitter/right hitter Jessica Kaufman ’17.
On Saturday, Oct. 4 the Judges went head to head with Carnegie Mellon and Emory, while on Sunday they met Case Western Reserve University. Despite the Judges’ efforts, the women’s team fell to currently ranked #5 Carnegie Mellon and #2 Emory on the first day of UAAs and closed out the weekend falling to #3 Case Western.
In their first match against the Carnegie Mellon Tartans, Brandeis’ middle hitter and captain Maddie Engeler ’16 led the team with nine kills, while rookie outside hitter Grace Krumpack ’19 had eight. Allison Harmsworth ’19, a rookie setter, added 15 assists and seven digs, while teammate Yvette Cho ’19 had nine digs to lead the Judges. The first set for the Judges was 25-13 with slight improvement as the game went on with a score of 25-15 in the second set, and 25-19 in the third to seal the Tartans victory over the Judges in a three set match. The Judges struggled to overcome Carnegie Mellon’s strong defense, with seven blocks, while the Tartans hit .250 against just .034 for Brandeis, overpowering the Judges offensively, too.
During their second match on Saturday against Emory, Engeler led the squad again with six kills, while rookie Zara Platt ’19 added five. Jessie Moore ’18 had ten digs to lead all players, matching her career-best. Harmsworth finished with twelve assists. The Judges ended their first set 25-10 and closed their second set with a score of 25-8, but were able to tighten the score in their third and last set with 25-17. The Judges just couldn’t seem to play up against the nationally ranked Emory team, hitting .034 to the Eagles’ .387.
On the last day of the first round of UAA conference play, the Judges faced off against Case Western, whose team is coached by Brandeis alumna Karen (Chambers) Farrell ’93. Brandeis fell to Case Western in three sets. The Judges could not beat Case Western’s eight blocks offensively, while the Spartans hit .304 compared to the Judges’ .045 hitting percentage for the game. After the first round of conference play, the Judges fell to 3-14 overall and 0-3 in the UAA.
The volleyball team is back in action this Saturday, Oct. 9 at Tufts University, playing Colby College at 2:30 p.m. and Tufts University at 5 p.m. The Judges return to the second round of the UAA Tournament on Saturday, Oct. 17 at Case Western in Cleveland, Ohio.