WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University volleyball team had its chances tonight, but the Judges dropped a three-set decision to visiting UMass Boston in Red Auerbach Arena. Set scores were 27-25, 25-19, 25-22. The Judges fall to 5-12 on the season, while the Beacons improve to 7-8.
The first set was a back-and-forth affair that featured 10 ties and five lead changes. UMB led by as many as six points early, but the Judges battled back to tie it at 17-all on a service ace by rookie OH Lara Verstovsek (Bellaire, Texas/Episcopal). The teams traded the next eight points until the Beacons won three in a row to take a 23-21 lead. Brandeis responded with kills by senior OH Stephanie Borr (Westfield, N.J./Westfield) and Verstovsek, followed by a block by junior Amelia Oppenheimer (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands) and first-year Rita Lai (Sugar Land, Texas / Clements) to get the first set point. UMB responded with two in a row to get a set point of their own, but Oppenheimer tied the set at 25. The Beacons bounced right back with kills from Emilia Czapiewska and Marcelle Tiscareno to take it, 27-25.
The Beacons led wire-to-wire in the second set, though the Judges cut a nine-point deficit to four before falling, 25-19. Brandeis looked to make a comeback in the third set, taking advantage of some offensive struggles by UMass Boston to jump out to a 10-5 lead. The Beacons rallied to tie things up at 15-15 on a Brandeis error, but a Verstovsek kill stopped the streak. Brandeis looked to have some momentum, scoring six of the next eight, including back-to-back service aces from junior setter Talia Freund (La Jolla, Calif. / La Jolla) that made it 21-17. After the Beacons called timeout, they closed the match on an 8-1 run, with Czapiewska serving a couple of aces in the string to give the visitors a 25-22 win and the match.
Borr and Verstovsek led the Brandeis offense with six kills each. Sophomore setter Ines Grom Mansenecal (Cincinnati, Ohio/Wyoming) had 17 assists and senior libero Kaitlyn Oh (Santa Clara, Calif. / Cupertino) had 12 digs. Senior Emerson White (Lexington, Ky. / Sayre) had three blocks (one solo).
UMass Boston put three players in double figures in kills, paced by Czapiewska with a match-high 13. Tiscareno and Aleks Qose each had 10 kills. Carsen Komminsk had 38 assists, while Ally Dean led all players with 14 digs.
Brandeis is back in action this weekend for a pair of Homecoming matches against #22-ranked Babson at 11 a.m. and Endicott at 3 p.m. UMass Boston is at Rhode Island College for a Little East match on Thursday at 7 p.m.