September 7, 2007

Volleyball goes 2-0 on first day of Brandeis Invitational

Brandeis def. Umass Boston, 3-0 (30-10, 30-17, 30-16)

Rhode Island College def. Smith, 3-0 (30-24, 30-21, 30-27)

Umass Boston def. Babson, 3-2 (32-30, 25-30, 30-18, 28-30, 15-13)

Brandeis def. Smith, 3-0 (30-27, 30-18, 30-24)

Rhode Island College def. Babson, 3-0 (30-23, 30-25, 30-17)

STANDINGS
Brandeis 4-0
RIC 3-1
Smith 2-2
UMass-Boston 1-3
Babson 0-4

ALL TOURNAMENT TEAM
Britt Libby, Babson (Fr., MB)
Megan McAuley, UMass-Boston (So., OH)
Catherine Shafer, Smith (Sr., OH)
Kimiyo Garcia, RIC (Jr., MB)
Lorraine Wingenbach, Brandeis (Jr., OH)
Piera Carfagno, Brandeis (So., MB) ** MVP **

WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Brandeis University volleyball team extended its home winning streak to 14 matches dating back to last season as the Judges defeated UMass-Boston and Smith to capture the Brandeis Invitational tournament title.

In the day's opener, the Judges had little problem with UMass-Boston. They jumped out to an 11-3 lead in the first game and never looked back en route to a 30-10, 30-17, 30-16 win. The Judges' only trouble came at the start of game two, when they fell behind by a 7-3 margin, but won nine of the next 11 points to take command of the match. Brandeis never trailed in game three. Sophomore middle blocker Piera Carfagno (Los Angeles, Calif.) led the team with 11 kills, while junior outside hitter Lorraine Wingenbach (Buffalo, N.Y.) had nine kills and two service aces. Rookie setter Abby Blasco (Greeley, Colo.) had 27 assists and three kills.

In the final match of the tournament, Brandeis needed to defeat Smith College to earn the title. Coach Michelle Kim's squad struggled early against the Pioneers, falling behind, 7-2, early in game one. They were still behind, 13-9, when senior Katie Wrynn (Douglaston, N.Y.) served five straight points to get the Judges back in the lead, 14-13. The game with nip-and-tuck after that, with the Pioneers taking a 24-22 lead on kills by Yejide Najee-Ullah (Berkeley, Calif.) and Mikal Minarich (Hobart, Ind.) and a Brandeis error, but the Judges won eight of the last 11 points to take the 30-27 win. The Judges never trailed again, jumping out to leads of 10-2 in game two and 12-1 in game three en route to closing out the match, 30-18, 30-24.

Carfagno and Wingenbach were impressive again, in leading the Judges offensively. Wingenbach topped the team with 12 kills, while Carfagno hit for a stunning .529 percentage (11 K-2 E-17 TA). Senior opposite Ashley Powers topped the team with 20 digs, while rookie middle blocker Nicole Smith (Marietta, Ga.) added three block assists and had five kills and no errors in nine attempts. Blasco finished with 33 assists and eight digs.

For their efforts, Carfagno and Wingenbach were named to the All-Tournament team, with Carfagno earning MVP honors for the second time in her career.