Volleyball battles to take a pair of third sets, but falls in four to WashU and NYU

Marissa Borgert '21 (photo by Sportspix.com)
Marissa Borgert '21 (photo by Sportspix.com)

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Brandeis University volleyball picked up a pair of third-set wins, but the Judges were unable to complete their comebacks in two four-set University Athletic Association defeats at the hands of Washington University and New York University on the campus of Case Western Reserve today. With the losses, the Judges fall to 4-17 overall, 1-6 in the UAA. They will go into the conference championships in November as the seventh seed.

The Judges, who took at least one set in five of their seven UAA matches, fell behind Washington University, 25-16, 25-16, before bouncing back with a 25-17 win in the third. Brandeis hit .114 in their set win, while holding the Bears to a .000 percentage. The fourth set was tight, featuring 12 ties and three lead changes. The Judges owned an early 7-4 lead, which was the largest for either team. WashU answered with 7-3 run of their own to take their first lead at 11-10. The Bears would go ahead by two points on a few occasions, the latest at 23-21, forcing the Judgs to call timeout. Brandeis answered with kills by Emma Bartlett (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) and Marissa Borgert (Blaine, Minn./Spring Lake Park) to knot the score at 23-all, but WashU had a timeout of their own, and the Bears responded with the last two points of the set to take it 25-23 and close out the match.

Bartlett led the way for the Judges, posting a match-high 16 kills with just four errors in 43 attacks for a .279 hitting percentage. Bartlett also had eight digs and three blocks. Borgert finished with 25 assists and 10 digs for her fifth double-double of the season. Sophomore Kaitlyn Oh (Santa Clara, Calif./Cupertino) led all players with 19 digs.

In the second match of the day, the Judges again fell behind early, suffering losses of 25-18 and 25-19 in the first two sets. They bounced back with a 25-21 win in the fourth, hoping to spring a comeback like they did last year in the UAA tournament. For the second match in a row, it was a tight fourth set, with 10 ties and two lead changes. After a timeout, the Judges rallied from 20-16 down to tie the match at 20-all thanks to kills from three different players. NYU was able to use a timeout of their own to halt the momentum, and the Violets won the next four points. Brandeis fended off the first two match points on a block by Borgert and Belle Scott (Portland, Ore./Oregon Episcopal School) and a service ace from Emily Morrison (Richardson, Texas/Richardson), but NYU was able to close things out, 25-22.

The Judges were paced by the second career double-double from rookie Amelia Oppenheimer (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands), who had led all players with 14 kills to match her career-high, to go with 11 digs. Scott added 12 kills and eight digs. Oh led all players defensively with 15 digs, while Borgert had a match-high 39 assists while leading the Judges with five blocks. The Judges had seven more kills than NYU, but the Violets owned an 8-6 edge in service aces and a 16-6 margin in blocks.

Brandeis returns to action with a tri-match at Emerson with Manhattanville next Saturday at 11 a.m.