The Brandeis University women’s volleyball team competed against two of the top regional teams at Brandeis’ Annual Homecoming celebration. While Auerbach Arena was filled with enthusiastic family members, friends and alumni, the women were unable to defeat #22-ranked Babson in their first game of the day; and, unfortunately, Brandeis fell short in their second game of the day, too, after extending Endicott College to five sets.
Talia Freund ‘23 helped decrease the deficit for the Judges, serving six straight points to bring the set within two in the first set against the Beavers; the women then won the next point because of a Babson error, which allowed the Judges to score four additional points. Sophomore Ella Perreria’s ’24 service ace gave Brandeis the lead, 19-18, but the Judges were unable to capitalize off the momentum they built, allowing the Beavers to score the final 10 points of the set. Babson went on to win the game in just three sets: 22-25, 8-25, 20-25.
Overall, nine Brandeis players recorded kills, led by senior middle blocker Kaisa Newberg ’22 who tallied six kills and one block. Sophomore Rita Lai ’24 had a team high four blocks, while also contributing five kills. Defensively, Kaitlyn Oh ’22, senior libero, led her squad with 13 digs; and sophomore setter Ines Grom-Mansenecal ’24 set her teammates up for success, recording 10 assists, a team-high of the game.
In the afternoon, the Judges returned to the court to face unranked Endicott College, who upset the Babson Beavers in five sets. The Brandeis women’s volleyball team pushed Endicott to five sets; however the Gulls were victorious, winning the fifth 15-7.
Winning the first set 25-21 on their home court, the Judges built momentum spearheaded by junior blocker Amelia Oppenheimer ’23 and veteran blocker Newberg. Senior leader Stephanie Borr ’22 and Oppenheimer both registered kills to put the Judges up two in the set, 19-17. While the Gulls took the second set and the third, Brandeis remained engaged and competitive, securing the fourth set, forcing the fifth. Endicott never trailed in the fifth, though, defeating the Judges 15-7.
First-year Lara Verstovsek ’25 led the Judges against the Gulls with a team-high 13 kills and five blocks. Oppenheimer and Newberg each recorded six kills and Borr had five. Defensively, the Judges were equally successful with Ella Pereira ’24 tallying 10 digs, followed by Oh and Borr who each had nine; furthermore, Brandeis defended the net incredibly well, recording a season-high 13 blocks, led by six each from Newberg and Lai. Setter Grom-Mansenecal recorded an impressive 22 assists in the five-setter.
On Sunday, Oct. 17, the Judges will compete in their final two UAA matches of the season on Emory’s home court in Atlanta, Georgia. The Judges look to defeat the University of Chicago and the University of Rochester on the road.