Brandeis takes Judges Classic title, Trees sets NCAA record

WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Brandeis University volleyball team put together its longest winning streak of the season on Friday and Saturday, winning five straight matches to take first place in the Judges Classic tournament. In the process, the Judges avenged three losses from earlier in the season.

On the opening night of the tournament, Brandeis defeated Eastern Connecticut State University in four games, 31-29, 28-30, 30-22, 30-19, in a rematch of the title match of the ECSU Crabtree Classic. The Judges' second revenge win came against Gordon College in a five-game match. Brandeis won 30-27, 24-30, 30-22, 30-32, 15-12, in the longest match of the tournament.

In the Saturday session, Brandeis defeated Plymouth State University afrter dropping the first game, 20-30, 30-24, 30-24, 30-18. The Judges had their only sweep against Newbury College, 30-19, 30-14, 30-4, and closed out the tournament with a 30-22, 32-34, 32-30, 30-26 win over Endicott College.

The highlight of the tournament came against Newbury College, when sophomore libero Shannon Trees (Savannah, Ga.) stepped up to serve against Newbury and the third game tied, 4-4. Trees went on to serve the next 26 points in a row, setting an NCAA All-Division record in the process. The previous record had been 23 set in 2001. Trees served up eight service aces against the Nighthawks, a career-high.

Offensively for the tournament, rookie Lorraine Wingenbach (Buffalo, N.Y.) averaged 5.45 kills per game with a fine .265 hitting percentage (109 kills-39 errors-264 attempts). She also led the team with 16 service aces. Wingenbach established career highs in kills twice, recording 27 against Gordon and again again Endicott.

Defensively, sophomore Jenny Sandler (Stafford, Va.) was the team's top performer with 83 digs (4.15 digs per game), while senior Jenna Polinsky (White Plains, N.Y.) had 11 blocks - including eight solo - in her final regular-season home matches before next weekend's UAA championships. Polinsky totaled a career-high 20 kills in the match against Plymouth State, besting her previous mark by six.

The Judges were also buoyed by rookie setter Violette Ruggiero (Paradise Valley, Ariz.), who averaged 11.7 assists per game. Ruggiero had her second and third career 50-assist matches, including a career-best 53 against Endicott.


Brandeis def. Plymouth State, 3-1 (20-30, 30-24, 30-24, 30-18)

Brandeis def. Newbury, 3-0 (30-19, 30-14, 30-4) *

Brandeis def. Endicott, 3-1 (30-22, 32-34, 32-30, 30-26)

ECSU def. Gordon, 3-1 (30-25, 30-26, 30-32, 30-28)

ECSU def. Endicott, 3-0 (30-22, 30-28, 33-31)

ECSU def. Plymouth State, (31-29, 30-24, 30-23)

Endicott def. Newbury, 3-0 (30-18, 30-15, 30-28)

Gordon def. Newbury, 3-0 (30-19, 30-25, 30-24)

Plymouth State def. Gordon, 3-0 (30-25, 30-24, 30-25)

* In Brandeis's Game Three win over Newbury, sophomore libero Shannon Trees (Savannah, Ga.) set an NCAA All-Division record by serving 26 consecutive points.


1) Brandeis 5-0

2) Eastern Connecticut 4-1

3) Plymouth State 3-2

4) Endicott 2-3

5) Gordon 1-4

6) Newbury 0-5