Volleyball ends the 2018 season with impressive UAA tournament

Volleyball ends the 2018 season with impressive UAA tournament

November 8, 2018

The Brandeis University volleyball team turned out one of its best performances in nearly a decade for the program in the UAA this past weekend. It was the Judges’ final three games of the 2018 season, against NYU, Emory and Case Western Reserve (CWRU).

They opened play against 11th ranked Emory at the UAA tournament hosted by the University of Rochester. The Judges pushed the 11th ranked team in each set but eventually dropped a 3-0 decision to the Eagles. Set scores were 25-23, 25-24, 25-23.

Emma Bartlett ’20 led the Judges with seven kills, making just one error in 19 chances for a .316 hitting percentage. Brandeis also out blocked the Eagles, 8-5, with Kiersten Frauens ’19 posting six block assists and Bartlett finishing with five. Marissa Borgert ’21 led the Judges with 14 assists while Marlee Nork ’19 had nine and Grace Krumpack ’19 led the defense with 12 digs.

Despite the loss against the Eagles on Friday, the Judges still played well and came out Saturday with quite the performance. The first match of the day was against Case Western Reserve and the eighth seeded Judges upset the fifth seeded Spartans, 3-1. Set scores were 12-25, 25-13, 25-20, 25-20.

The Judges began with a slow start, hitting in the negative numbers in their opening set as the Spartans rolled to the 25-12 win. However, Brandeis turned the tables in the second set, hitting a terrific .436 (19 kills, two errors, 39 attempts) as they took a 25-13 decision. The Judges went on two different 4-0 runs in the set to keep CWRU at bay and closed on a 4-1 run, with two kills by Shea Decker-Jacoby ’19, Sports Editor for The Brandeis Hoot.
In the tighter third and fourth sets, the Judges hit an identical .167 with 14 kills and seven errors in 42 attempts, while holding CWRU to .000 and .088 down the stretch to take the wins. It was a team effort as eight different

Brandeis players contributed points in the final run, with Bartlett putting down the game winning kill.
Decker-Jacoby matched her season high with 18 kills and had a season-best .432 hitting percentage. Bartlett also reached double figures in kills with 13, while also contributing five block assists. Rookie Emerson White ’22 had a tremendous game at the net, finishing with a career high of eight blocks, three of which were solo. Other rookie Kaitlyn Oh ’22 paced the defense with 26 digs. It was all hands on deck for the Judges, and it paid off.

In their second match of the day and final game of the 2018 season, the Brandeis volleyball team turned in its best performance at the UAA in a decade. The Judges rallied back from two sets down to defeat NYU in the conference’s fifth place match, 17-25, 18-25, 25-22, 25-21, 15-7.

The Judges’ hitters struggled in the first two sets, hitting below .100 in both sets as NYU won, 25-17 and 25-18. Brandeis started its comeback by getting off to a fast start in the third set. Tied at 3-3, the Judges went on a 7-0 run and would hang on for the 25-22 win.

In the fourth set, after the Violets scored the first point, Brandeis answered with the next four and never trailed again. NYU got within two at 13-11, but the Judges did not let them get any closer in forcing the fifth set, 25-21. The Judges roared out of the gate in the fifth set, establishing a 5-2 lead. The Violets got within one at 8-7, but Brandeis closed them out by scoring seven of the match’s final eight points. Three kills came from Bartlett down the stretch as the Judges completed the comeback, 15-8, winning it on a kill by Borgert.

The Judges finished with a balanced attack as three players finished in double figures in kills. Bartlett led the way with a match high: 14 kills. She also led the team in hitting percentage with just four errors in 31 attacks for a .323 percentage. Borgert added 13 kills and a match high of 29 assists for her fourth double of the season. Her kill total was one shy of her season best. Oh contributed 36 digs to lead all players, while Yvette Cho ’19 had 12. Oh’s strong performance earned her the title of UAA Defensive Player of the Week.

Prior to this weekend, Brandeis had not posted a win at the UAA tournament since 2010. Head coach Alesia Vaccari praised the team effort, “I’m so proud of the way we finished this match, NYU started the match strong, but we did a great job finishing. It’s something we’ve been talking about all season. Everyone on the team contributed.” Vaccari and her three assistant coaches ended up earning UAA Coaching Staff of the Year for successfully leading the team to a strong UAA performance.

Brandeis closes its 2018 season with a 13-17 record.