Volleyball downs Smith, 3-0, in Brandeis Invitational opener

WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Brandeis volleyball team bounced back from its first defeat of the season to defeat Smith College, 3-0, in the opening match of the Brandeis Invitational today. The Judges were convincing 25-15, 25-17, 25-8 winners.

Brandeis trailed, 6-2, early in the first set before running off five straight points. Junior right-side Piera Carfagno (Los Angeles, Calif.) had a kill to start the run and then served four straight points to give the Judges the lead. The Pioneers ralied to take a 12-11 lead on a kill by junior Bethany Weiss (Windham, N.H.). Brandeis responded as junior middle blocker Bridget McAllister (Santa Clara, Calif.) had a kill on three of the next four points to give the Judges a 15-12 lead and force Smith into a timeout. The visitors scored a point out of the break, but only had two more after than as the Judges closed on a 10-2 run for the 25-15 win.

Set two started with Brandeis winning the first four points and leading by as many as 12 points, 19-7, following a service ace by sophomore setter Abby Blasco (Greely, Colo.), and the Judges cruised to the 25-17 win. In the third set, the Pioneers scored two of the first three points. Brandeis answered with runs of seven and nine straight points on the serves of senior DS Danielle Friedman (Peoria, Ariz.) and Carfagno to take an 18-3 lead and the eventual 25-8 win.

Sophomore outside hitter Paige Blasco (Greely, Colo.) just missed a career-high with 16 kills, but made just three errors in 48 attempts for an outstanding .464. Senior Violette Ruggiero (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) led the way defensively with nine digs, while Paige Blasco had eight. Sophomore Nicole Smith (Marietta, Ga.) was a force at the net, making five block assists, while Carfagno had four assists and McAllister had one solo block and two assists.