Volleyball heads to second-straight ECAC title match with sweep of Keene State

WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Brandeis University and Colby-Sawyer College volleyball teams each won three straight games to advance to the ECAC Division III New England championships today. The top-seeded Judges defeated Keene State College, 30-27, 30-17, 30-21, while No. 3 Colby-Sawyer upset No. 2 Coast Guard 30-27, 20-23, 30-18.

Brandeis (27-10) tied the school record for victories with its win over Keene State. The Judges were tested in the first game, trailing 27-22, but sophomore Bridget McAllister (Santa Clara, Calif.) got the serve back for the hosts with a kill and rookie setter Abby Blasco (Greeley, Colo.) served the final seven points, including two service aces, for the victory. In games two and three, the Judges used runs to push early one-point margins to six-point leads that held up for the win.

Brandeis was paced by All-New England junior Lorraine Wingenbach (Buffalo, N.Y.) with 19 kills, and senior opposite Ashley Powers (Waltham, Mass.) with 10, including several in game one to keep the game close for the decisive run. Blasco finished with 41 assists and four aces. Junior libero Violette Ruggiero (Paradise Valley, Ariz. ) had a team-high nine digs.

KSC was paced by sophomore middle blocker Carly Newton (Centerville, Mass.), who had 11 kills and a block. Rookie libero Jamie Levine (Medfield, Mass.) had 14 digs, while classmate Jordan Pokrywfki (Wasilla, Alaska) had 20 assists.

The second semifinal mirrored the first, with Colby-Sawyer taking the first game a narrow win and pulling away in games two and three. The Chargers were paced by rookie Michelle Doody (Franklin, Mass.), who had 14 kills, while junior Kristen Romanko (Mansfield, Mass.), sophomore Montana Molyneux (Inglewood, Ont.) and junior Melissa Estabrook (Newton, Mass.) had seven each. Junior libero Taylor Forsberg (Moultonborough, N.H.) had 20 digs, while sophomore Genny Moore (Centerville, Mass.) had 34 assists.

Coast Guard was led by double-doubles from junior Nicole Gurr (Acton, Calif.) and senior Corinne McCormack (Havertown, Pa.). Gurr had 13 kills and 11 digs, while McCormack had 13 and 12. Senior libero Megan Durbin (Floyds Knobs, Ind.) had 17 digs and classmate Anne Staley (Manhattan, Ill,.) had 24 assists, eight digs and three service aces.