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.