The Brandeis volleyball team played three matches this past week, losing to New York University 3-1 (19-25, 20-25, 25-23, 19-25) and Washington University 3-1 (26-28, 17-25, 25-22, 13-25) on Sunday. The Judges then welcomed UMass-Boston on Tuesday, losing 3-0 (27-25, 25-19, 25-22). The Judges’ record is now 5-12 and 0-5 in University Athletic Association (UAA) play.
Sunday, Oct. 3, NYU 3 – Brandeis 1:
Freshman Lara Verstovsek ’25 had 12 kills and Senior Kaitlyn Oh ’22 had 13 digs, but the Judges couldn’t stop undefeated NYU and their offense, losing 3-1.
Down 21-15 in the opening set, the Judges battled back, winning four points in a row. The Violets answered by winning four consecutive points to close out the set. The Violets jumped out of the gate in the second set, winning nine of the first 14 points. The closest the Judges would get to NYU was 24-20 before the Violets took the set.
The Judges started strong in the third set, jumping out to a 14-11 lead. The Violets then went on a 7-1 run to lead 18-15 before the Judges responded with five points in a row. The Judges took the final two points to win the set after Kaisa Newberg ’22 had a kill and Oh recorded an ace.
Junior Amelia Oppenheimer ’23 and senior Stephanie Borr ’22 each had ten kills, while Sophomore Ines Grom-Mansenecal ’24 recorded her seventh double-double of the season with 33 assists and 12 digs.
The Violets came into the contest ranked 16th according to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) website. The Violets were hyper-efficient offensively, recording 58 kills, and had a hitting percentage of 0.285. NYU later defeated Emory in their second match of the day, to go to 5-0 in UAA play. They jumped six spots in the rankings to 10th in the most recent poll.
Sunday, Oct. 3, Wash U 3 – Brandeis 1:
Verstovsek had 10 kills and Grom-Mansenecal had 23 assists, but the Judges lost the second match of their UAA doubleheader to Wash U, ranked 23.
Trailing 24-21 in the first set, the Judges won the next three points to tie the set 24-24. The Judges survived another two set points before Wash U took the set 28-26. The Bears raced out to an early lead in the second set, winning 12 of the first 17 points. The closest the Judges would get was three points. Wash U recorded seven of their 11 total service aces in the second set.
The Bears opened the third set, winning the first two points. The Judges answered with four straight points and never trailed the rest of the set. Wash U tied things up 8-8, but the Judges won four of the five points thanks to two kills each by Newberg and Oppenheimer. The Bears drew even with the Judges again at 18-18. Once again, the Judges responded with a 4-1 run. The Judges went on to win the set 25-22.
The Judges built off their momentum to begin the fourth set. Brandeis won the first seven points in the set and led 13-9. Wash U answered with 16 consecutive points to take the set and the match.
Grom-Mansenecal and Oh each led the Judges with nine digs. Oh and sophomore Rita Lai each had two aces.
Tuesday, Oct. 5, UMass-Boston 3 – Brandeis 0:
Playing for the third time in three days, the Judges dropped a non-conference matchup to UMass-Boston 3-0.
The Beacons led by six early in the opening set, before Brandeis tied it at 17-17. After the teams traded several points, the Beacons won three in a row to take the lead 23-21. The Judges won the next three points and had an opportunity to take the set. The Beacons won the next two points and after the Judges tied the score 25-25, the Beacons won the following two points to take a 1-0 lead.
The Beacons led throughout in the second set. After being down 20-11 in the set, the Judges managed to go on an 8-3 run, but it wasn’t enough as UMass-Boston took the set 25-19. The Judges looked to ignite a comeback, taking an early 10-5 lead in the third set. The Beacons rallied and evened the score at 15-15. The Judges then went on a 6-2 run, but the Beacons closed out the match, winning eight of the last nine points to take the set 25-22.
The Judges couldn’t find an answer for the Beacon offense. UMass-Boston, who averaged just under 10 kills per set entering the match, recorded 44 kills, their second-most this season. Three Beacon players had at least 10 kills.
For the Judges, Borr and Verstovsek led the way with six kills apiece, while Oh had a team-high 12 digs. Senior Emerson White ’22 played well off the bench, notching two kills and recording an ace. White was outstanding on the block, recording a solo block and two block assists. Junior Talia Freund ’23, playing in just her third match this season, provided a boost off the bench as well, recording three aces, which tied Lai for the team lead.