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Brandeis volleyball celebrates seniors

On Thursday, Oct. 27, the Brandeis Judges honored the five seniors and graduate students in their final home game in Red Auerbach Arena. The volleyball squad celebrated senior day with a 3-0 sweep of Wellesley College; in the following game, the Judges concluded their regular season with a win over Springfield College in three sets.

Before Brandeis’ match against Wellesley, the Judges honored their five seniors and graduate students. Setter Talia Freund ’23, right-side Emerson White ’23, outside hitter Amelia Oppenheimer ’23, outside/right side hitter Sydney Bent (GRAD) and defensive specialist Stephanie Borr (GRAD) dominated their final home match in Gosman Athletic Center. 

Set scores were 25-16, 25-17 and 25-15, all in the Judges’ favor. The first set started out tight, as both teams were tied at 5-all. Sydney Bent, though, led a four-point streak with a kill; and after a 7-1 retaliation run from Wellesley, Bent helped close out the set with seven consecutive service points, finishing out the set on a 9-1 run. In the second set, Wellesley won the first point, which was the only time they led all set; in the final set of the game, Bent served the first eight points and the Judges led by as many as 11 points twice, securing the victory.

The 3-0 sweep of Wellesley was a team effort. White registered a career-high 11 kills without an error in 18 attempts for a .611 hitting percentage. Graduate students Bent and Borr tied for team-high honors with 11 digs; Bent also finished with three kills and five service aces. Sophomore Lara Verstovsek ’25 added 10 kills with only two errors for a .381 hitting percentage and classmate Arianna Jackson ’25 contributed seven kills and three blocks in the Judges’ senior day sweep. Junior setter Ines Grom-Mansencal ’24 tallied 29 assists and helped the Judges to a .263 team-hitting percentage. Defensively, the Judges held Wellesley to a .000 hitting percentage. 

In the Judges’ final regular season match against Springfield College, the Brandeis volleyball squad started out strongly, never trailing in the opening set; the Judges won the first four points and eight of the first 10 which ultimately helped them defeat the Springfield Pride 25-17. The Judges won the second set handily, 25-13, with the help of Grom-Mansencal’s kill followed by nine service points. Finally, the third set was the most competitive, featuring 14 ties and six lead changes. Springfield did have a 19-16 lead late in the set, but the Judges quickly reclaimed the lead by winning the next four points on a run consisting of two Bent service aces and a solo block by Tatiana Wainer ’25. The Brandeis volleyball squad successfully closed out the final set on a 5-2 run, 25-23. 

Against the Pride, Verstovsek had a match-high 18 kills and just four errors in 44 attacks for a hitting percentage of .273; this match marked her fourth straight with double digit kills and 12th match overall. Additionally, Lara Verstovsek recorded a career-high for a three-set match while also contributing defensively with six digs and four blocks. Wainer also recorded a career high six blocks, while tallying four kills. Classmate Jackson added six kills and five blocks. Defensively, Bent had a team-high 19 digs throughout the match against the Pride, while Ella Pereira ’24 recorded 10. Grom-Mansencal controlled the pace of the game with 28 assists and helped the Judges to a .242 team-hitting percentage. In the final two games of the regular season, the Judges focused on their defense. Brandeis held the Pride to a .026 hitting percentage in the third and below .000 in the first two sets; the Judges also had 12 team blocks compared to their opponent’s three. 

The Judges currently stand at 12-13 in the regular season. Brandeis will finish their season at the 2022 UAA Championships this weekend in New York City, taking on top-seeded and host New York University in the first round on Friday, Nov. 4, at noon.

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