Last weekend, the Brandeis volleyball team flew to Chicago and took on three highly ranked teams in the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships. The first game was on Friday, versus the Emory University Eagles. Missing several of their usual starters due to injuries, the Judges struggled. The first set began with a kill by Belle Scott ’21, putting Brandeis up 1-0. Following this, however, the Eagles were quick to get an early lead, 9-2. The Eagles were able to maintain this lead and won the set 25-11. The second set was a bit more back and forth in the beginning but ended in a similar fashion, with the Eagles winning 25-10. The third set was a much better showing for the Judges than the previous two; each team had its time in the lead, and there were multiple times where the score tied up. In the final stretch of the third set, Brandeis was only down two, 22-20. Unfortunately, the Eagles scored three consecutive points and were able to beat Brandeis 25-22, defeating the Judges 3-0 and raising their overall record to 27 wins and two losses.
The next game of the weekend took place only a few hours after the match against Emory, against the Case Western Reserve University Spartans. The first set was very competitive, with Brandeis holding their own even with the injuries, but alas, the Spartans were able to take the first set 25-17. In the second set, the Judges obtained an early lead of 6-4, with Emma Bartlett ’20 contributing with two kills. Following this, however, the Spartans went on a 9-0 streak, making the score 13-6. Case Western was able to hold onto this lead until the end and won the set 25-20. The Judges began the third set with three kills and a missed attack by the opposition, giving them the early lead of 4-1. Unfortunately this lead, like the others, failed to last and the Spartans took the set 25-20, winning the game 3-0.
The third game of the weekend and the final game of the season took place on Saturday morning. The Brandeis Judges played against the University of Rochester Yellowjackets for seventh place in the UAA tournament. The first set went back and forth continuously and included a plethora of moments where the game was tied. In one of these moments, both teams had 24 points, pushing the set into a short overtime. The Judges called a timeout but came out of it unable to finish strong, with two missed attacks in a row, losing the set 26-24. The second set was also rather close. The two teams went back and forth, but the Yellowjackets were able to secure the set 25-20 with an ace by Rochester’s Allie Derubertis. The third set was a grind for the Brandeis team. They started the set down and were never able to turn it around, losing the set 25-13 and the game 3-0. This game concluded the 2019 volleyball season for the Judges, with a record of four wins and 23 loses.
Lone senior Emma Bartlett ’20 ended her collegiate career in high fashion, achieving many impressive feats. She is currently 10th on the Brandeis all-time list for kills, with 987. Bartlett is also sixth of all-time school history in blocks, with 303. Her hitting percentage (.0204) earned its place on the list as well, at 13th of all-time. With these incredible successes, it is no wonder that she was named to the second team All-UAA. Some other players who earned recognition this season are libero Kaitlyn Oh ’22 and setter/outside hitter Marissa Borgert ’21, who were both honorable mentions.
It was also announced that Borgert was named as a CoSIDA Academic All-District team member, according to an announcement on the CoSIDA website. This award is voted upon by Sports Information Directors in the district, and honorees become eligible to be CoSIDA Academic All-Americans. Those honored must be sophomores or older and have played in at least half of their team’s games during a given season. They also must hold at least a 3.30 GPA. Borgert holds well beyond that as a biology and HSSP double major and has made the Dean’s List every semester that she has been at Brandeis.
The Judges finished the 2019 season eighth in the UAA, but they will be coming back stronger next year with their entire roster returning, aside from Bartlett.