Tufts sweeps Brandeis, 3-0, in non-conference volleyball action

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University volleyball team played three tight games against the No. 3 team in New England, Tufts University, but the Jumbos prevailed each time, winning a 3-0 decision tonight, 30-24, 30-28, 30-24.

In game one, the teams were about as tight as could be over the opening stages of the match. The score reached 20-20 with neither team gaining more than a two-point lead. At that point, Tufts (20-3) went on a 6-1 run that gave them a 26-21 lead. Brandeis (10-15) came out of the ensuing timeout and won three points in a row to get back within two at 26-24, but the Jumbos won the final four points of the game, clinching on a block by senior Courtney Evans (Bellaire, Texas).

Brandeis established an early lead in game two, and went up 13-11 in the early going. Tufts rallied and eventually took a 24-20 lead, but three straight points on the serve of sophomore Jenny Sandler (Stafford, Va.) got the hosts back within one, 24-23. They were unable to square the game again, and the Jumbos took a 30-28 decision on a Brandeis error.

In game three, the visitors raced out to a 12-3 lead that was never really in jeopardy. Brandeis cut the lead to four late at 26-22 on the serve of sophomore libero Shannon Trees (Savannah, Ga.), but Tufts answered with four of the next six points, winning the match on a kill by rookie Caitlin Dealy (Santa Barbara, Calif.).

Brandeis was led by sophomore Lorraine Wingenbach (Buffalo, N.Y.), who topped all players with 18 kills and 23 digs. She hit for a .239 percentage (18 K-7E-46 TA). Rookie setter Violette Ruggiero (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) had 29 assists, 12 digs and six kills, while Sandler had seven kills and 14 digs.

Tufts had a balanced attack, with no player amassing more than 12 kills. Senior April Gerry (Holmes, N.Y.) had 12 kills to lead the squad, while sophomore Kay Lutostanski (Houston, Texas) had 11. Four Jumbos finished with double figures in digs, paced by rookie setter Kaitlin O'Reilly's 11 to go along with a match-high 39 assists. Rookie Kate Denniston (Tarzana, Calif.) also had 11 digs.