To acquire wisdom, one must observe

Volleyball faces ups and downs

Since last publication, the Judges women’s volleyball team played twice: On Sept. 29, they traveled to Bristol, Rhode Island to face off against host Roger Williams University, then faced Colby College on Oct. 1 on the home field at Brandeis. The Judges won against Roger Williams 3-0, but lost to Colby 1-3.

The first match against Colby was a flawless victory from the Judges with a total score of 3-0 and set scores of 29-27, 25-23, 25-21. This was also a milestone match for the Judges as player Lara Verstovsek ’25 set a new Brandeis record with 22 kills in a three-set match—the record was previously held by Liz Hood ’14 in 2012, who had scored 21 kills against Emmanuel College. Verstovsek was the star of the match, scoring eight kills in 12 attempts in the opener, beginning a first set fraught with 14 ties and five lead changes. The Judges, however, finally took the set with a 29-27 win. The second set also saw Verstovsek dominate, posting another eight kills in 10 attacks, which gave her 16 kills and no errors in 22 attempts—a .727 hitting percentage. The Judges took the set with a 25-23 win. Finally, the third set saw Verstovsek falter early on, though by the end of the set she stood at six kills and two errors in 15 attempts. With this, she was at a total of 22 kills, thus setting her record. The set was overall the Judges’ best this match, seeing a 25-21 victory for the team after eight ties and one lead change.

This match was the fourth in Verstovsek’s career with 20 or more kills. Additionally, Anna Ertischek ’26 scored 14 kills with only three errors in 26 attacks, finishing with a .423 hitting percentage. Julia Liang ’26 was setter for a bulk of the match, distributing a career-high 33 assists and with that guiding the Judges to a season-high team hitting percentage of .315. Liang was team-high in digs, scoring a total of eight. Ines Grom-Mansencal ’24 and Ella Pereira ’24 were not behind with seven digs each. Finally, Olivia Nirode ’27 delivered three of the Judges’ six service aces this match.

After this match, the Judges stood at a record of 6-6 for the season.

Two days later on Oct. 1, the Judges hosted Colby College, resulting in a 1-3 loss with set scores of 27-25, 23-25, 25-18, 25-21. As in the last match, the first set went into extra points. The Colby Mules escaped the first set point of the match and closed on a 4-1 run to win the set 27-25. The Judges hit back in the second set: After a 22-all tie, Ertischek delivered two straight kills with a service ace from Grom-Mansencal following, resulting in a 25-23 Brandeis win. The third set began strongly in the Mules’ favor with a 6-2 start. Several times during the set, the Judges were able to close within one point. The Judges were able to briefly take a 15-14 lead thanks to a service ace from Verstovsek, though the Mules responded with a 7-0 run leading to their 25-18 set victory. The fourth set began similarly to the last, with an 8-2 lead from the Mules in the first 10 points. The Judges caught up, however, making their way to an 18-all tie thanks to two kills from Verstovsek and one from Grom-Mansencal. The Mules answered this with six of the following seven points, climbing to a 24-19 lead. The Judges were able to avoid the match point with two more kills from Verstovsek, but Mules’ top player Brady Moseley was able to score, taking the set for Colby 25-21.

Despite the loss, the Judges saw some highlights. Ertischek edged her career-best 20 kills with a total of 18 throughout the match. The player also saw only four in 40 attempts for a .350 hitting percentage. Verstovsek saw 17 kills and eight errors in 50 attacks for a .180 hitting percentage. She also had 12 digs for her fifth double-double of the season and her first since Sept. 14. Arianna Jackson ’25 and Verstovsek both had three blocks at the net. Pereira led the Judges in digs this match with a total of 17. Grom-Mansencal had 23 assists while Liang had 12.

After this match, the Judges stood at a record of 6-7 for the season.

The Judges then hosted the US Coast Guard Academy on Oct. 5.

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