To acquire wisdom, one must observe

A busy week for Judges volleyball

On Sept. 29, the Brandeis volleyball team used a balanced attack on both offense and defense to win their fourth-straight match, 3-0, over Clark University. Set scores were 25-18, 25-21, 25-14. The Judges led wire-to-wire in both the first and third sets, scoring seven of the first eight points in each. In the second set, there were five ties, but Brandeis never trailed after going up, 2-1. The final tie of the set came at 6-all after back-to-back kills by the Cougars’ Sheyenne Williams and Claudia Rivera. Brandeis rookie Anna Ertischek ’26 answered with a kill and the Judges never trailed again. Brandeis established a five-point lead at 19-14 on a block by Bent and Rita Lai ’24 and never looked back. 

The Judges had a balanced offensive attack, with three players scoring between 10.5 and 12 points, and another three tallying between 6.5 and 8.5 points. They were also balanced on defense, with two players recording 15 digs and another with 14. Lai was the team’s top scorer on the night with 12 points, finishing with seven kills and eight blocks (two solo). Verstovsek had a team-high eight kills, while adding two service aces and two block assists for 11 points. Bent was the third player in double digits with points, racking up five kills, four service aces and three block assists for 10.5 points. She also notched 14 digs. Grom-Mansencal had a terrific all-around game, with 27 assists and 15 digs for her eighth double-double of the season, while also contributing two kills and four service aces. Borr also had 15 digs on the night. The Judges’ 14 service aces were a season-high for the Judges. In addition to finishing with 10 team blocks, the Brandeis defense held Clark to a .009 hitting percentage (22 K-21 E-113 TA). 

On Oct. 8, the Brandeis University volleyball team lost a pair of contests hosted at Endicott College. Brandeis lost both matches 3-1 against Endicott (25-21, 18-25, 25-23, 25-22) and Babson (25-18, 12-25, 25-17, 25-18). In the opener, the Judges got a match and career-high 24-kill performance from Sophomore Lara Verstovsek ’25 and a 10-kill performance from graduate student Sydney Bent. Bent also had the team-high in digs in the match with 20, followed by a tie between Verstovsek and Senior Stephanie Borr ’23 with 15. Junior Ines Grom-Mansencal ’24 led the team in assists with 35. In the second match, Verstovsek led the team in kills again with 12, while Borr led the team in digs with 12. Grom-Mansencal had another great outing, finishing the match with 31 assists. 

On Oct. 2, the Brandeis volleyball team saw its four-match winning streak shut down as the Judges dropped a pair of University Athletic Association (UAA) contests at Carnegie Mellon University. Brandeis lost a pair of 3-0 decisions to Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) (25-20, 25-17, 25-19) and the University of Chicago (26-24, 25-13, 25-20). The Judges played close in three of five sets, staying within five points of their opponents. Against Case Western Reserve, the Judges were within two points late in each set. In the first, they trailed, 22-20, but the Spartans won the final three points. Both of the final two sets saw Brandeis behind by two at 18-16 before the Spartans went on a late closing run. The Judges’ best chance to win a set came in the opener against Chicago. They led by four, 16-12, and owned a 23-21 advantage when the Maroons called a timeout. UChicago won three in a row to get a set point at 24-23, but Brandeis first-year Anna Ertischek ’26 stopped the momentum to force extra points, but UChicago took it, 26-24. The second set was tight early on, with Brandeis taking an 11-9 lead on a Bent kill. Chicago answered by scoring 12-straight points to go up, 21-11, and rolled from there. The Judges were also ahead early in the third with a 9-8 lead when UChicago went on an 8-1 run to go up, 16-10, and never looked back. 

Brandeis had a pair of 10-kill performances on that day. Bent had 10 in the opener against CWRU, while Verstovsek had 10 against Chicago. Bent tied with Borr with 11 digs, giving Bent her fourth double-double in a Brandeis uniform. Verstovsek also had a team-high 13 digs against the Maroons for her third double-double of the season. She also had nine kills, two aces and a block against Case. Grom-Mansencal had 22 assists and eight digs against CWRU and 21 assists and five digs against Chicago. The Judges meet Endicott and Babson next Saturday for a tri-match at Endicott.

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