Hensley leads volleyball past Wheaton, 3-1

Si-Si Hensley '14
Si-Si Hensley '14

WALTHAM, Mass. — Brandeis University senior outside hitter Si-Si Hensley (Fullerton, Calif./Troy) registered her second double-double of the season with 15 kills and 11 digs tonight to lead the Judges past visiting Wheaton College, 3-1, in Red Auerbach Arena tonight. Set scores were 25-16, 23-25, 25-15, 25-17. Brandeis evens their record to 6-6 with the win, while the Lyons fall to the same record.

      Hensley's season-high 15 kills were second to junior outside hitter Liz Hood (Albuquerque, N.M./Albuquerque Acad.) for match-high honors. However Hensley did not make any errors in her 28 chances for a .536 hitting percentage, setting a career-high in the process. Hensley also tied for match-high honors with 11 digs and led all players with four service aces on the night.

      In addition to Hood, who hit .229 (17 K, 9 E, 35 TA) on the evening, other statistical standouts for the Judges included junior libero Elsie Bernaiche (Plantsville, Conn./Southington) with 10 digs, sophomore setter Maggie Swenson (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) with 36 assists - a career-high - and senior Carly Gutner-Davis (Del Mar Calif./Canyon Crest Acad.) and rookie Jessica Kaufman (Tucson, Ariz./Cienega) who had three blocks each. Bernaiche and rookie Rachael Dye (Broomfield, Colo./Broomfield) each had three service aces as the Judges had 13 to just four for Wheaton.

      The visitors were led by sophomore Dierdre Wilson (Aptos, Calif./Aptos) who finished with a triple-double. She had 12 kills and just two errors in 22 attempts for a .455 percentage, along with team-highs of 18 assists and 11 digs. Sophomore outside hitter Arieanne Creighton (Brookline, N.H./Hollis Brookline) added 11 kills, while classmate Page Gustofson (So. Lake Tahoe, Calif./South Tahoe) had 16 assists.

      The Judges ran away with their three sets, using big runs to put away the Lyons. In a well-played first set that featured just six combined attacking errors - one by Brandeis and five by Wheaton - it was an 8-1 run that turned a 5-5 tie into a 13-6 lead. Bernaiche served a pair of aces in the string and Hensley capped it with a nice cross-court winner, as the Judges went on to win, 25-16.

In the second set, the largest lead was four at 16-12 for the Judges. It looked like Brandeis might hold off the visitors, but after trailing 22-19 following a Hensley kill and service ace, Wheaton closed the set on a 6-1 run, highlighted by a pair of Elise Waelder (San Diego, Calif./Point Loma) blocks. With a 25-23 win in the second set, the Lyons evened the match at 1-1.

Brandeis never looked back in the third, jumping out to a 6-1 lead on four early points by Hensley and two kills by Hood. The Judges never trailed in the set, leading by as many as 13 points at 21-9.  Wheaton crept closer with a late 5-0 run, but a Hood kill made it 25-15.

In the fourth set, the squads were tied at five when a tip kill by Dye sparked an 8-2 Brandeis run. Wheaton called timeout after back-to-back service aces by Hensley made it 14-7, but the damage was done and the Judges cruised to a 25-17 win and the match.

Brandeis returns to action on Saturday with a tri-match featuring Emmanuel and Colby-Sawyer kicking off at 11 a.m. Wheaton opens NEWMAC play at WPI Saturday at noon, while also taking on Westfield State at 2 p.m.