Volleyball defends ECAC title with 3-0 win over Colby-Sawyer

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University volleyball team successfully defended its Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England title today with a 3-0 win over Colby-Sawyer College. The top-seeded Judges won 30-21, 30-22, 30-26 over the No. 3 seeded Chargers. Brandeis junior outside hitter Lorraine Wingenbach (Buffalo, N.Y.) was named tournament MVP for the second year in a row.

Brandeis (28-10), which set a new school record for wins in a season, did not drop a game in winning the second ECAC volleyball crown in school history. The Judges trailed through much of the early part of game one, falling behind by six points at 10-4 on a service ace by Colby-Sawyer (28-8) sophomore setter Genny Moore (Centerville, Mass.). The Judges clawed back and tied the game at 15-15 on a kill by Wingenbach. After the teams traded points to 17-17, Brandeis scored the next four points and never trailed again, scoring six of the game's final seven points to take a 30-21 win.

In game two, Brandeis never trailed as Colby-Sawyer only had one stretch in which they scored more than two straight points. Game three was a much tighter affair. Brandeis took a pair of early four-point advantages, only to see the Chargers answer. The visitors tied the match at 16-16 on a kill by rookie Shaylyn Hewitt (Wilbraham, Mass.) and took a 19-18 lead on a block by Hewitt and sophomore Megan White (Monroe, Conn.). The Judges answered with a 10-2 run that included a stretch of five kills in a six-point span by Wingenbach to give Brandeis a 27-21 lead. A block by senior Ashley Powers (Waltham, Mass.) and sophomore Bridget McAllister (Santa Clara, Calif.) put the hosts on the brink of victory, 28-21, but the Chargers ran of six straight points. CSC cut the lead to 28-26 on a kill by rookie outside hitter Michelle Doody (Franklin, Mass.), but Brandeis coach Michelle Kim's time-out stopped the Chargers' momentum, and McAllister had kills on the final two points to give Brandeis the title.

For the match, Wingenbach led all players with 19 kills and hit at a .245 percentage, while rookie Elizabeth Villalino (Kailua, Hawaii) had 10 kills and just one error in 19 attempts for a .474 percentage. Rookie setter Abby Blasco (Greeley, Colo.) had 44 assists and nine digs. Junior libero Violette Ruggiero (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) had 44 assists, while Wingenbach had 11 for the double-double. For the tournament, MVP Wingenbach totaled 51 kills, hitting for a .270 percentage. She also had 23 digs and seven service aces in the three matches.

Colby-Sawyer was paced by Doody, who had 14 kills and hit at a .227 clip while contributing nine digs. Junior Taylor Forsberg (Moultonborough, N.H.) had 10 digs to lead the squad. Moore finished with 28 assists and three aces, while White had four blocks (two solo).