WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University volleyball team met a pair of highly-ranked foes at home in their first two University Athletic Association matches of the season. The Judges dropped a 3-0 decision to #2 Emory in the opener, then won the first set but dropped the next three in a 3-1 loss to #12 Carnegie Mellon. The Judges are now 2-10 on the season, 0-2 in the UAA. Emory is 11-1, 2-0 UAA, while CMU is 12-1, 2-0 UAA.
HOW IT HAPPENED VS EMORY (25-12, 25-12, 25-17)
The defending national champions were strong on offense (.293 hitting percentage) and defense (41 digs, seven blocks) in sweeping the home team. Brandeis's offensive leader was senior Emma Bartlett (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury), who had eight kills and five block assists for 10.5 points. Bartlett and the Judges' net players nearly matched Emory with six team blocks. Junior Belle Scott (Portland, Ore./Oregon Episcopal School) added six kills, while classmate Marissa Borgert (Blaine, Minn./Spring Lake Park) had 13 assists.
HOW IT HAPPENED VS. CARNEGIE MELLON (17-25, 25-15, 25-11, 25-19)
For the second time this season, the Judges took a set off a nationally-ranked opponent, winning the first against the Tartans, 25-17. Brandeis especially strong on offense in the opening stanza, driving home 12 kills with just three errors in 35 attacks for a .257 hitting percentage. Rookie Amelia Oppenheimer (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands) had five kills in the set, while Scott had four. The Tartans bounced back with long runs in the second and third set, but the fourth was a tight affair. The teams traded points in the early going before a 4-0 run on the serve of Bartlett made it 14-11, Brandeis. CMU called timeout and answered with a 5-0 run of their own to take a 16-14 lead on Kayla Yew's serve. Brandeis stemmed the tide by getting a side-out after a timeout of their own, but Carnegie Mellon got the next three points after a Brandeis error, and the Tartans held off the hosts from there.
For the match, Oppenheimer led the way with 14 kills, a career-high. She made just six errors in 35 attempts for a career-best .229 hitting percentage. Scott and Bartlett each added nine kills. Sophomore libero Kaitlyn Oh (Santa Clara, Calif./Cupertino) finished with 19 digs, while Borgert had 33 assists and a pair of service aces.
Brandeis returns to action tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. against the University of Rochester, who also went 0-2 in the UAA today.