CHICAGO – The Brandeis University volleyball team lost its final match of the first University Athletic Association Round Robin of the season, 3-0, to Case Western Reserve University. The Judges drop to 4-7, 0-3 in the UAA, while the Spartans improve to 5-7, 1-2 UAA.
The Judges came out sluggish in this one, falling behind by scores of 6-0 and 9-1 in the first set en route to a 25-14 defeat. The second set started off more evenly, with the Judges and Spartans trading points early until a pair of service aces from rookie setter Ines Grom-Mansenecal (Cinicinnati, Ohio/Wyoming) gave Brandeis a 6-4 lead. The Judges were still ahead 8-7 when CWRU scored five in a row on the serve of Alyssa Blessinger to take a 13-8 lead. Brandeis briefly halted the Spartan momentum with a kill by rookie OH Lara Verstovsek (Bellaire, Texas/Episcopal) and a hitting error, but CWRU rolled off another six in a row to take control, winning the third 25-12. Another tough start in the third set, with Brandeis surrendering the first eight points, let to a 25-16 win and a sweep for Case.
Offensively, Brandeis was paced by Verstovsek, who had seven kills, while junior Amelia Oppenheimer (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands) and senior Kaisa Newberg (Reno, Nev./Sage Ridge School) each had six. Grom-Mansenecal had her fifth career double-double with 18 assists and a team- and career-high 16 digs. She also finished with three service aces.
Brandeis returns to action next Saturday when they meet Amherst College and Middlebury College in Vermont. Brandeis will host the second UAA Round Robin in two weeks at the Gosman Athletic Center.