Judges best Emmanuel, 3-0

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University volleyball team improved to 4-1 this season with a 3-0 victory over visiting Emmanuel College in Auerbach Arena this evening.

Brandeis (4-1) avenged a 3-2 loss to Emmanuel (0-2) in Boston a year ago. In game one, the Judges fell behind early, 7-2, but rallied to tie the game at 8-8. After back-and-forth play saw the game tied at 13-13, two straight service aces by sophomore setter Violette Ruggiero (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) forced Saint head coach Joe Seid to call time out. Ruggiero got another point on serve to push the lead to 16-13 and the Judges didn't trail again in game one. Rookie middle blocker Piera Carfgano (Los Angeles, Calif.) served nine straight points as sophomore outside hitter Lorraine Wingenbach's (Buffalo, N.Y.) kill closed out the game, 30-17. Brandeis hit an impressive .409 in the first game (12 kills-3 errors-22 attacks).

Emmanuel jumped out early again in game two with a 9-7 advantage. Junior outside hitter Katie Wrynn (Douglaston, N.Y.) served six points in a row to five Brandeis the lead and caused the Saints to call another timeout. Three more points served by Wrynn and the Judges had a 16-9 lead that wouldn't be threatened again as the Judges took a 30-22 decision.

Game three was the closest of the evening, as the Saints took their largest lead of the night midway through at 18-12. Consecutive service aces by senior outside hitter Kendra Barry (Lakeville, Mass.) made Brandeis coach Michelle Kim call her only timeout of the match. The Judges answered with an 12-3 run to claim a 24-21 lead when Emmanuel used their second timeout of the game. The Saints got the serve right back out of the timeout, but a service error handed it back to Brandeis. The Judges slowly built the lead back to 28-24 on a kill by sophomore outside hitter Becca Schwartz (Newcastle, N.H.) before junior libero Shannon Trees (Savannah, Ga.) closed out the match, 30-28, with a service ace.

Wingenbach led Brandeis with 15 kills and a .428 hitting percentage on the night, while adding a team-high eight digs. Carfagno had nine kills, five aces and two blocks (one solo), while Ruggiero finished the night with 32 assists and three aces.

Brandeis is next in action next Tuesday at 7 p.m. when they travel to Eastern Nazarene College. Emmanuel hosts Endicott on Thursday at 7 p.m.