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Volleyball wins two of three in first weekend at home

Last weekend, the women’s volleyball team went 2-1 in a series of home games, defeating the University of Maine at Presque Isle and Gordon College but falling to Bowdoin College. The Judges finish the weekend with a 5-2 record.

The goal for this past weekend’s matches was clear—continue to carry the momentum of their opening weekend. The Judges were off to one of their best starts in recent years. The week before, the women’s volleyball team had travelled to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in California, where they sported a 3-1 record at the Pacific Coast Classic. Emma Bartlett ’20 had a particularly strong weekend, earning UAA Athlete of the Week honors after recording 42 kills and just 11 errors in 85 attacks.

Neither Bartlett nor the rest of the Judges disappointed over the weekend. The matches began with a convincing defeat of the University of Maine at Presque Isle Owls 25-15, 25-15, 25-14. In this match, Bartlett continued her hot streak by leading the team with seven kills, three blocks, and two digs. Belle Scott ’21 and rookie Stephanie Borr ’22 also posted strong performances; both had six kills, while Borr added five aces for a team high of 11 points. Setter Marlee Nork ’19 and libero Yvette Cho ’19 helped carry the team to victory, contributing team highs 18 assists and 19 digs, respectively.

Unfortunately, the tables were turned shortly thereafter, as the Judges fell to the Bowdoin Polar Bears 19-25, 21-25, 11-25 in a match later that night. Despite the loss, Scott continued her strong play by leading the Judges with seven kills and a hitting percentage of .429. Bartlett also impressed, adding six kills and four blocks for a team high 10 points. But, despite these performances, a combined 26 digs by seniors Cho and Grace Krumpack ‘19 and 23 assists by Marissa Borgert ’21, the Judges could not overcome the power of the undefeated Bowdoin team. The biggest difference maker was Bowdoin’s hitting percentage of .214 compared to Brandeis’ .056, their lowest of the season. Bowdoin’s attack was led by Caroline Flaharty ’20, who led both teams with 10 kills and just one error.

The Judges successfully ended their weekend on a high note, defeating the Gordon College Scots 21-25, 25-13, 25-20, 25-11. The Judges struggled to find their footing in the first set, where they tallied only three more kills than errors. However, Brandeis quickly bounced back, hitting better than .200 each subsequent set. Borgert, Bartlett, and Shea Decker-Jacoby ’19 led the way for the Judges, combining for 24 kills (eight kills each). Bartlett again led the team with 12 points, including an ace and three blocks. Rookie Kaisa Newburg ’22, Cho, and Nork were also integral in the victory, recording 11.5 points, 17 digs, and 23 assists, respectively.

The Brandeis women’s volleyball team will seek to improve upon their strong start with an away game this weekend against a non-conference competition. The Judges play at Endicott on Friday night, a game where momentum will surely be on their side.

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