White leads volleyball past WPI, 3-1

Emerson White '22 (photo by Sportspix.com)
Emerson White '22 (photo by Sportspix.com)

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University volleyball picked a four-set win over visiting WPI tonight in Red Auerbach Arena thanks to a career-night from sophomore right-side hitter Emerson White (Lexington, Ky./Sayre). The Judges improve to 4-10 with the win, while the Engineers fall to 8-7.

Set scores were 25-15, 23-25, 25-19, 25-22.

The Judges, who had lost seven previous four-set matches this season, won thanks to a match- and career-high 15 kills from White. She made just two errors in 28 attempts for a career-best .464 hitting percentage. It was her second-straight match with double-digit kills. White also tied for match-high honors with six blocks.

Senior middle hitter Emma Bartlett (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) added 13 kills and just missed a second-straight double-double with nine digs. She also had four blocks. Junior setter Marissa Borgert (Blaine, Minn./Spring Lake Park) had 41 assists, a season-high and the second-highest total of her career, while also matching a career-high with five blocks. Sophomore libero Kaitlyn Oh (Santa Clara, Calif./Cupertino) had a match-high 26 digs and made a remarkable kill.

WPI was paced by 10 kills from Abbie Gilbert and nine by Colleen Mullins, who also had 15 digs. Amanda Wetmore had six blocks (three solo), while Lilly Taylor had 32 assists.

In the first set, the teams traded points early on, before Brandeis went on a 7-0 run on the serve of White to take a commanding 13-5 lead. Bartlett had two kills and two block assists in the run. The Judges were ahead, 24-11 before a late run by WPI cut the gap to nine, but Brandeis saw it out on a White kill, 25-15.

The Engineers stormed out to a 10-3 lead in the second set, with WPI's Amanda Wetmore contributing a kill and two blocks while serving the last two points of the run. Brandeis would close within a point twice late in the set, but kills from Colleen Mullins, Sarah Kwatinetz and Suela Miloshi kept the home team at bay, 25-23.

In the third, Brandeis got off to a hot start, winning the first four points. WPI won the next two when a key moment occurred. The Engineers' Miloshi made a terrific play to get a ball over the net while going into the stands. It appeared that the ball hit the floor on Brandeis's side of the net, but while WPI was celebrating, Oh kicked the ball into the open court and instead got the point for the Judges, making it 5-2. Although the visitors won the next two points to close within 5-4, Brandeis rattled off five in a row and never trailed again. They closed out the set, 25-19, on a Bartlett kill and a Borgert service ace.

The fourth set was a back-and-forth affair, with WPI establishing an early two-point lead. They were still ahead, 8-7, when Brandeis won seven of the next eight points to go up, 14-9. The Judges still held a 20-16 lead when WPI embarked on a 6-1 run to take a 22-21 lead. The Judges responded with the final five points of the match, closing things out, 25-22, on a kill by White and a block by White and junior Belle Scott (Portland, Ore./Oregon Episcopal School).